The Character of Friendship
By Dr. Richard J. Krejcir
Friendship is the companionship and closeness we are to have with one another. It is the commitment to build relationships by getting to know others and help them form the other characters, and in turn help you. Relationships are essential to life and being a Christian, it is our number 2 priority besides our growth in Christ! This is not to be feared but embraced, even when it hurts! (Proverbs 18:24; 27:17; Matt. 5-7; Luke 15:1-2; Rom. 12:13; Heb. 13:2; I Pet. 4:9)
Animosity and Bitterness are the opposites. These rotten fruits will cause apprehension and discontent in society and the church. Instead of friendship and cooperation we will have strife, gossip, backstabbing and such causing all kinds of social breakdown and destruction!
Friendship for the Christian is never taking any of our relationships for granted or lightly as we should seek to be friendly to everyone, even people who are mean and rude to us. It is taking the principles of the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5-7) and putting them into practice as peacemakers and forgivers.
Remember; Friendship is an essential quality for a Christian to give and take what is so important and needed in life! If you have ever wondered what the meaning of life is, or what your purpose is, or what is needed and such it is building relationships: First with Christ then with family, then with others. When we ignore this and become cut off and distant we are ignoring our call and responsibility in life. Yes you will be taken advantage of and hurt. What happens to us is not your responsibility nor is how people may treat you, you are responsible on how you treat others! So be willing to extend a lovingly hand and also be willing to receive one. Friendship is critical to applying the characters of Christ in our everyday experiences and encounters to the best of our abilities!
Is the Character of Friendship working in you?
Here is how you can find out. Take a careful look at this character and fruit of Friendship from God's most precious Word by examining the passages below. Now ask yourself:
- How do I exhibit Friendship in my daily life?
- What can I do to develop a better attitude of Friendship?
- What blocks friendship and relation building from happing in your life?
- How can I make Friendship function better, stronger and faster even in times of uncertainly and stress?
- How would you define Friendship?
- What are the things that cause you to be bitter with others?
- How does being bitter counteract Friendship?
- What happens to our relationships with God and others when we are bitter with others?
- When have you been filled with Friendship the most?
- In what situation did you fail to be Friendly in which you should have?
- What issue is in your life that would improve with being friendlier?
- Think through the steps you need to take to put Friendship into action in a specific instance. Such as how can prevent bitterness from taking root in you? How do my moods affect my friendliness factor? How can I build more and stronger interpersonal relationships?
·Here are positive examples from Scripture (Gen. 18:1-8; Luke 10:29-37; 10:38; 14:7-14)
·Here is are negative examples from Scripture (I Sam. 25:9-13; II Sam. 10:1-5; Luke 9:51-56; John 1:11; James 2:1-6)
Realizes that God has given us the strength
Sees a situation from the viewpoint of each person involved.
Minimizes arrogance and removes pride.