4 September 2016

“You’ve got a friend in me”  – this classic song that Randy Newman wrote for Toy Story speaks volumes about the incredible importance of friendship.

“You’ve got a friend in me. You’ve got a friend in me. If you’ve got troubles, I’ve got them too. There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for you. We stick together and can see it through because you’ve got a friend in me!”

So if this is what kids of the 90’s were being taught about friendship, what is the place of friendship among Christians today? … In a day and age where friendship is often reduced to clicking a single button on a computer?

What does true friendship look like?

Well the Bible actually paints a similar picture of friendship to what Randy Newman suggests. God’s Word shows that friends should carry one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2), that friends should make sacrifices for one another (John 15:13),  and friends should care deeply for one another (as we see Jesus doing for Lazarus in John 11). And of course, all of this is based upon a love for one another as an outpouring of one’s love for God (Matthew 22:37-40), as a response to the good news of the gospel.

Well how should Christians be treating friendship?

We should be truly investing into the lives of one another. Looking to build one another up as Christians, through reading God’s Word together and praying for one another. Sharing a meal with one another. Humbly putting other’s needs before your own. Providing emotional support when needed. Challenging and rebuking one another as we strive to live for Jesus. Forgiving one another and showing the same grace and mercy that God has shown us in Christ.

So let us seek to have friendships that are built around our true purpose, the calling of God in the gospel. Invest in one another’s lives. Seek to always encourage one another to make godly decisions and to follow Jesus.

And if friendship is something that you’re struggling to find, get involved with a small group. At St Michael’s, we call our formal ones ‘growth groups’. Try and meet up with people from church throughout the week, finding time to encourage one another.

Humans are relational beings. It is not good for man to be alone. It has been that way from the beginning. So get out there and truly be friends with people, investing in their lives, caring for them, and pointing them to Jesus.

Josh Hayward
Youth Ministry Trainee