I frequently listen to Tim Keller sermons. He is educational, instructive, practical, and an excellent preacher.
Recently, he explained in his exposition of Ruth how life change happens – through friendship. I processed, mused, and eventually agreed. “My sermons may inspire you, but they will not change you like friendship will unless you work the message out with a friend,” he shared (rough paraphrase).
But, how does friendship change us? I want to explore three ways friendship cultivates life transformation.
- They grow us in the tough areas. For example, it’s not easy to see the imperfections of friends, yet hold our tongues. Although there is a place and time for correction, we would rather correct than endure. We learn to suffer long when we are close to people. Friendships have a way of dulling the rougher edges of our personality and straining us for every last drop of grace.
- They humble us. Others may see you as an intensely godly person, but your friends know the true you. It’s easy to become proud when we are falsely known by many. Friends remind us of who we really are, and they challenge us to be all that we could be.
- They help us learn perseverance. Are you suffering alongside a friend? Have you fought through conflict in order to maintain the relationship? What challenges have you conquered together that grew you in perseverance? Friends help us to press forward when everything in us yells “quit!”
These are three simple, yet beautiful aspects of Christian friendship. Thank God for your friends today and ask that He continue to grow you as you share life with one another.