Choose your friends wisely

Last night  my wife and I  spent the evening with friends.   That’s not so unusual, I guess, but the things we talked about sparked some reflection on why we need friendship.

We humans are made for relationship.   When God made the first human being he declared that it was not good for the man to be alone, so he gave Adam a wife.  From the beginning we have been social beings.   I consider myself an introvert; I have a high need for solitude and love to spend time alone with God.  But while I love to be alone, I also need time with friends.

It’s a little weird that an introvert like me is responsible for promoting small group ministry at our church!   But even introverts need relationships.  So, Marion and I encourage others to be part of a small group, and of course we are involved in home groups ourselves as well.

Last night we spent the evening with our friends in one of these home groups.   It was a bitterly cold night and with the OC Transpo strike, our days are more complicated and getting around is difficult.  On top of that we have a long to-do list at home.   So all in all,  it would have been easier to stay home.  But we decided to go to Dan’s place anyway, and I came home realizing just how much we need these relationships.

Pretty well everyone enjoys hanging out with friends.   Friendships can be a lot of fun!  But while joy and laughter are important aspects of friendship, friendships are for more than just fun.  Good friendships are also a tool for growth.   In our home groups we spend time encouraging each other, challenging each other, discussing topics that help us understand God’s plan for our lives, praying for each other, and reaching out to others.

Your friends can can drag you down or they can build you up.   Long ago a wise man said that those who spend time with wise people become wise, and those who hang out with fools pay a price.

We become like those we spend time with.   I want to spend time with people who are hungry for God, people who are looking for honest, accountable, loving relationships, people who will encourage me to be better than I am.  I want to walk in the light of God and help others find His light and walk in it, so I choose friends who are either seeking the light or already walking in it.