Christian Passions: Spiritual Friendships

Within all communities friendships that are developed become the center of our lives. Friends “hang out” together and during life encounters learn how each other thinks, acts, feels, reacts, and on and on we could go.

In the first Christian church, spiritual friendships were a must. They met together daily for encouragement, teaching, worship, and friendships. Later as the persecution got tougher, there’s no doubt that those relationships grew to be even more meaningful and deeper as the Christians banded to do more than fellowship. Their very lives depended on one another. They had a common goal, a common message, and most of all, a common Savior.

What about our relationships today? Being a minster in a church I am surrounded by Christian friendships. My family are all Christians. I am sheltered to the “real world” in some ways.

Before working with churches, I worked in a factory and remember well the atmosphere of bad language, bad influence, and just in general, being surrounded by bad behavior. Not all places are that bad, and I’m certainly not making a blanket statement, it’s just that this place was pretty bad.

Nevertheless, many who are in the work force of our society struggle each day with fellowship issues. There is a need for more relationships that are spiritual in nature. Many never receive the encouragement to hang in there for God. They are condemned for their beliefs on a daily basis. They are made fun of for believing in spiritual things.

On top of the daily trials, church has, for some, become a place of socializing and not much depth spiritually speaking. The “Hi, how are you, fine” conversations are often shallow and nonspiritual. We talk more about things that are really spiritually insignificant to the detriment of our spiritual relationships.

What about you? Count the number of “real” friendships you have and ask yourself how you are doing at building the spiritual friendships as opposed to shallow or worldly influences. This is not a test to guilt ourselves or make us feel badly. It is a test that could help us develop more and more a deeper relationship here or there that has its foundation significance based in spiritual matters.

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6 responses to “Christian Passions: Spiritual Friendships

  • Blizzardoflarz

    […ask yourself how you are doing at building the spiritual friendships as opposed to shallow or worldly influences.]

    I am one of the lucky ones. At the office here we are a marketplace ministry, and we are all close friends. Our “circle of influence” (greek word is oikos) is around 20 strong. We do a pretty good job of reading each other and knowing if someone is struggling, upset, etc… We have open lines of communication with each other and permission to speak into one another’s lives. There are people that are on the “fringes” of our group that don’t really believe what we believe. We preach the gospel to them through our actions and love for one another. (I think that’s in the bible) There is somewhat of a barrier though when we start to discuss the things of God amongst ourselves. I think they may feel a little left out. We do try to include them in those conversations, we just don’t push things down their throats. We’d rather let our actions speak.

    There are other areas that I feel I could do a better job of nurturing the relationships better, mainly my parents. Your blog has given me some food for thought. I think I am going to go call mom and dad…

  • Greg England

    We have a first Christian church out here … I’m going to check this out with them.

  • cwinwc

    If things go well for Greg with the visit to First Christian your blog was (not that it never is) well worth it.

  • Greg England

    Thankfully I’ve already read this blog, as I can’t see the words on the new format!

  • Steve

    We have certainly overlooked or ignored the Bible emphasis on accountability in our spiritual relationships. Bearing one another’s burdens ususally goes about as far as saying something like, “I’ll pray for you.” I am thankful for the small accountability group I have and know come Tuesday I will have some explaining to do on what I’ve been doing with my time and blessings.

    Peace.

  • Meowmix

    This is a subject that is very, very close to my heart. Thanks for placing emphasis on it . That “Hi, how are you? Fine. How are you? Fine” conversation is something that really touches my soul. I know there are private people who just find it difficult to share deep, intimate details of their lives. And we are taught the “put on a happy face” and “let a smile be your umbrella” and “fake it til you make it” mindset to the point that thos of us who would share our needs with others feel that somehow we are exhibiting weakness if we do so. Among our church family and spiritual friendships are where we should be able to share those and receive love, acceptance, aid, and prayer, as well as understanding. Thank you for speaking about this.

    I am fortunate to have strong spiritual relationships, and I thank God for them. (The blog family is one that I count among my greatest blessings.)

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