I felt like Barnabus was sitting in my living room, there only to encourage and remind me of who I am in Jesus. It was an incredibly encouraging time for me. We spoke of the importance of friendship and how it is a commitment and a serious one.
Friendships are incredibly valuable and all too often under-appreciated. We often take them for granted. We are willing to have fun with a person, but the moment the conversation turns to something real, silence occurs, or people become uncomfortable. True friendship involves risk. But risk, is simply a part of loving.
One of the men who stopped by today I'd only met one other time. He paused and said, "I have a question for ya." I waited, he asked. "Cari, what are your weaknesses?" I responded quickly, because I wanted to be known and I was safe in the context of these people. There was an investment being made in me that made it abundantly easy for me to share. When I know that a person is investing in me and I in them, it makes it easier to speak of the uncomfortable.
Jesus not only modeled for us the value of friendship as he chose to walk with a band of brothers. These men committed to life together for nearly 3 years. And the friendships made during that season lasted and spurred them on to love and good deeds.
Jesus modeled the importance of speaking the truth, spending time pouring into, investing in, and growing in relationship with others. It was not always easy, it wasn't always fun, it didn't have immediate pleasurable results, but lives were changed. People were committed. And each of this particular band of brothers lived into a better story.
Take a moment to think about your friends. Are they people who stimulate you to love and good deeds? Are they people with whom you want to gather for encouragement? Are they people who will tell you the truth and also give you the freedom to discover the truth about yourself? Are they people with whom you want to journey through much of life's ups and downs?
Do you have people in your life who invest in you with the level of commitment made in the taking of a vow or making of a covenant?
Maybe it's time to take a friendship you currently have and breathe commitment and intimacy into it.
What are your thoughts?
What have you learned about friendship?
Who has modeled friendship well in your life?
I'd love to hear.