Throughout my years here in Earth, I have learnt the importance of having great, loving friends. Friends, who share you dreams and passions, challenging them and encouraging them; who admire who you are and who you are becoming; Friends, that know how to have a fun time.
A few years ago, when I was about eighteen, I travelled around India with my father and his best friend who was from Canada (Calgary, represent!). Our journey there was to visit and encourage churches to keep up the good fight. Actually, it felt a lot like what Paul and Silas, and a few others did in Acts. My fathers friend encouraged me with one of the fragrances of his life’s message, which was simply to be intentional about surrounding myself with a few, faithful forgiving friends. I remember replying by telling him he was like a book I hadn’t read yet – but the blurb sounded really interesting. I drilled him with questions about faith and life and fellowship with the church – and the world, like, ‘how do you create a meaningful life, that is inspiring, encouraging and builds a legacy?’ Part of his answers extended around the idea that we need to be intentional about doing life with others, just as the disciples did during their earthly time with Jesus, and beyond that.
Friendship is not only a good idea, it’s the promise of a better, more fruitful world and church. It promotes peace and unity is its outpouring. A possibility of kindness and freedom and truth, rather than deceit and failure and war. It has the power to withstand things, it is supportive, and when it’s done right, it’s empowering. Friends point you towards a brighter future, a healthier you and a happier existence. Surrounding yourself with a Few Faithful Forgiving Friends, means you walk into relationship where there is no needy things among you. Friends that stick by you, sharpen you, point you towards the Father and forgive you when you fail to meant those goals. Friends that share in the inheritance of the Holy People in the Kingdom of Light (Col 1: 9-12). They call out the best in you, by challenging the worst.
I was 20 when I first picked up Bob Goff’s book, LoveDoes. It inspired me, among many things, to work towards establishing friendships that are meaningful, intentional and filled with unconditional love. He puts it like this;
“Being engaged is a way of doing life, a way of living and loving. It’s about going to extremes and expressing the bright hope that life offers us, a hope that makes us brave and expels darkness with light. That’s what I want my life to be all about – full of abandon, whimsy, and in love.” – Bob Goff
One of my life ambitions now is to become friends with Bob.
But it doesn’t start there. It starts right now, in the living room of my best friend’s new crib. Friends who I’ve journeyed with since we were children. Friends who have championed me, forgiven me, and inspired me to continue fighting for what I believe in. They are faithful friends that pursue the good things in me.
It starts here with my housemates, sharing life stories in order that we might catch a glimpse of the wonderful joy in life and be welcomed into share it.
It starts right now in the decisions you make when interacting with strangers. When we chose to simply be friends without an agenda. When we are engaging and connecting; by being present and making the decision to simply, do it. It creates positive change, and I believe the world is hungry for it.
“All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions were their own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all, that there were no needy persons among them.” – Acts 4:32-34
So today marks the start of something new – A life lived with intention. The early church got it, they so lived in fellowship that there was no one among them who needed something. And it probably wasn’t only physical needs.
Just as Paul said, “Therefore as Gods chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you have grievance against someone. Forgive, as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”
And all it takes, is
Just a Few Faithful Forgiving Friends.