An Every Day Blessing: Friendship
“There are individuals in the body of Christ who are waiting and available to be nurtured as friends-to be known and deeply loved by us, that they might know and love us in return. ” -Chuck R. Swindoll- PREFACE
As humans, all of us long to be understood. We may have numerous acquaintances but we all have a deep need to feel truly known by those we love the most. We don’t just want to be known by the superficial details of what our lives appear to be, but have a desire to let at least a trusted few in, that are willing to go beyond that. That are willing to try to understand how we think and feel. That are willing to try to understand what is important to us and help us figure out our purpose and travel with us down this road called life. Scripture affirms the above perspective on multiple occasions throughout its pages.
From the very beginning in Genesis where God talks about making man in “our” image, after “our” likeness (Genesis 1: 26), God hints that a sense of community is important in the life of any human. That even He Himself is a community, as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. As the Scriptures continue you can peruse even further and discover many more passages, all indirectly or directly pointing to the importance of community, pushing it to the forefront of ay successful navigation of life. Hebrews 10: 24-25 talks about spurring one another on toward love and good deeds and not giving up meeting together.
Colossians 3: 13-14 speaks of bearing with one another. And dozens of other Scriptures could be mentioned as well. Only when humans experience both their highs and lows of life in relationship with others will they experience what their best self and all God has to offer. Yet for all of its importance, we only on average make around 396 friends over a lifetime. Of those 1 in 12 will remain friends throughout our lives and even fewer will be close friends. With those odds one might feel the weight of the burden of just finding even a few friends who are willing to try to understand us and help us successfully travel down life’s road a tall task. But hope resides, as Christian Pastor Chuck Swindoll reminds us, in the body of Christ where there are individuals who are waiting and available to be nurtured as friends- to be known and deeply loved by us, that they might know and love us in return. ” And the insight of Pastor Swindoll has truth to it in the capital “C” sense. But in the lower case “c” the thought falls flat. And I am not the only one it appears to agree with this assessment. As of this writing, only 2 in 10 Americans under 30 believe attending church is important or worthwhile. Fifty-nine (59%) of millennials raised in church have dropped out. Thirty-five (35%) percent of millennials have an anti-church stance, believing the church does more harm than good. And although Millennials are by far the generation that is doing away with the “c”hurch in the greatest numbers, they are not the only generation where the effects are being felt. So why is this happening? The simplistic answer is that people leave the “c”hurch when they can’t find community and they can’t find Christ. And that too is why I have left. Yet, although I have lost faith in the “c” church, and all of it’s traditions, and fancy walls, etc.
I have never forgot Christ and the everyday blessings of longing to know Him more and to be surrounded by at least a small community of faithful Christ followers in which He has blessed me with. Which takes me to my story and the purpose of this book. This book is a testimony. My testimony of six God fearing individuals, who although not perfect, exemplify to me what the true meaning of being a Christ follower entails. And by carrying that banner each and everyday, have dramatically impacted me and have allowed me to remember His promises and His ways, to remind me the importance I have in His Kingdom, that have reminded me the value to my survival in the world. Everything in which the “c”hurch has failed at. And if the “c”hurch wants to survive and fulfill its mission, should take notice and remember why Christ founded it in the first place.
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