Do you have spiritual friends? Do you have at least one friend that shares your beliefs? If you are alone on your way to heaven, you’re in high risk of becoming spiritually barren. Yes, we are meant to grow together. We are a body of Christ. We are a family of God. There is no children without siblings in God’s family. Even Jesus cultivated spiritual friendships and showed us what it is to love your friends.
This is my commandment: love each other just as I have loved you. No one has greater love than to give up one’s life for one’s friends. (John 15:12, CEB,*)
Spiritual friends help each other to grow in faith. When they gather together in Christ, they are much more than just two individuals. They help each other in the process of becoming what God has created them to be and doing what God has prepared in advance for them to do.
If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand. (Phil.2:1-5, MSG. emphasis added,*)
Being deep-spirited friends is the best life can offer. With the words of St. Aelred: “But how happy, how carefree, how joyful you are if you have a friend with whom you may talk as freely as with yourself, to whom you neither fear to confess any fault nor blush at revealing any spiritual progress, to whom you may entrust all the secrets of your heart and confide all your plans. And what is more delightful than so to unite spirit to spirit and so to make one out of two?”
If you yearn to have this kind of spiritual friendship, ask God to show you who could be your deep-spirited friend. And, remember, it takes time to cultivate spiritual friendship. It takes spiritual nakedness and vulnerability. It takes lots of prayer, lots of listening. But, yes, it’s so worth it. Any friendship has an effect on us. But the impact of a spiritual friendship is even more powerful. The benefits of spiritual friendship are indeed out of this world. For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them (Matthew 18:20, NLT,*).
We yearn to have deep-spirited friends.
We yearn to live the way you want us to live.
We yearn to love like you loved us.
Create new spiritual friendships for us.
Empower us to grow together in you.
Be with us as we gather in your name.
In Jesus’ name we pray,
Q4U: Do you have spiritual friends? How do you grow together in Jesus?
Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you enjoy spiritual friendships!
* [As you might have noticed, I enjoy reading the Bible in different translations and love comparing them. I have started linking the Bible verses to Biblegateway.com so you can easily read (and compare) them in the different versions I’ve used while preparing each post.]