Skip to main content

The Value of Great Friendships

“‘But that will leave no place for us!’ cried Pippin in dismay. ‘We don’t want to be left behind. We want to go with Frodo.’
“‘That is because you do not understand and cannot imagine what lies ahead,’ said Elrond.
“‘Neither does Frodo,’ said Gandalf, unexpectedly supporting Pippin. ‘Nor do any of us see clearly. It is true that if these hobbits understood the danger, they would not dare go. But they would still wish to go, or wish that they dared, and be shamed and unhappy. I think, Elrond, that in this matter it would be well to trust rather to their friendship than to great wisdom. Even if you chose for us an elf-lord, such as Glorfindel, he could not storm the Dark Tower, nor open the road to the Fire by the power that is in him.’”
~ The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien
Friendship. It is one of the themes which run through The Lord of the Rings and I believe is one of the reasons so many people are drawn to the story. We long to have people in our lives that we can count on through thick and thin. People who we know will be there for us no matter what happens. People who we can love, help, and live life together.
What this world has in store for us is hardship and pain. If we received right now the detail accounting of the rest of our lives every one of us would be afraid to proceed. Our future holds the death of loved ones, the slow decay of our bodies, money problems, relationship problems, and other various struggles. The future is a scary place.
We can come up with answers and solutions for all these various problems on this side, before we go through them, but they mean little once we get there. C. S. Lewis wrote the Problem of Pain giving a logical and thought out answer to why a loving God allows pain and suffering. Those answers provided little comfort as he dealt with his wife’s death and authored A Grief Observed.
What will get us through the through the tough times ahead is not wisdom, but relationships. In the dark times in our lives what we need most are not answers to questions but companionship. We need people willing to come alongside of us and offer a word of encouragement, provide for some need, and to show us they love us even when we feel all alone.
This type of companionship is to found in the church:
Pay all your debts, except the debt of love for others. You can never finish paying that! If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill all the requirements of God’s law. ~ Romans 13:8; NLT
Follow God’s example in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love for others, following the example of Christ, who loved you and gave himself as a sacrifice to take away your sins. And God was pleased, because that sacrifice was like sweet perfume to him. ~ Ephesians 5:1-2; NLT
Think of ways to encourage one another to outbursts of love and good deeds. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of his coming back again is drawing near. ~ Hebrews 10:24-25; NLT
We know what real love is because Christ gave up his life for us. And so we also ought to give up our lives for our Christian brothers and sisters. But if anyone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need and refuses to help—how can God’s love be in that person? ~ 1 John 3:16-17; NLT
God wants us to love each other. That is how we are going to make it through life.
God could have revealed to us all the secrets of the universe and have given us all the wisdom we need to answer any question that came up. Instead God provide us with the Church. Great wisdom or knowledge will not get us through this life, but great friendships will. The first step to having great friendships is becoming a great friend. That is what loving people is all about.


Popular posts from this blog

Prayer: Married Bedtime Prayer

My wife Jenny and I have been using the Bedtime Prayer that John Eldredge wrote for Walking with God as part of our bedtime routine.  As much as I have enjoyed the prayer I thought it was time for a prayer that was better suited to pray together.  Hopefully this will encourage you to implement prayer into your bedtime routine.

Our Father in Heaven, we pause at the end of this day to say thank You.  We give You thanks for the blessing of life, for the blessing of each other, for the blessing of family, and for the blessing of a home. You have richly blessed our lives. Restore us Father to Your Son Jesus.  He is the vine and we are the branches and He has become our source of life.  Open our hearts to receive the Holy Spirit's guidance, healing, and transformation.  May our lives and our marriage bear the fruit of the Spirit.  We surrender our lives and our marriage to You.  You have our bodies, possessions, and spirits; we give You our hearts, souls, minds, and strength.  We belon…

God Uses Unlikely People

One of the things that strike me about God is that the value society has given to people makes no difference to Him. In fact it seems that God would rather use the common, even the despised, people of the world to make a difference in this world. Consider Moses. God doesn’t use Moses when he is a prince of Egypt, but when he is a nomadic shepherd. Certainly God has used the rich and the powerful, but more often than not God has used the poor, sinful, and abused. God uses the unlikeliest people.

This reality comes our loud and clear at Christmas time. Think about the major characters of the Christmas story: Joseph who is a poor and scandalize carpenter, Mary who is a young and scandalized girl, Shepherds who are a bunch of untrustworthy characters. Only the Magi have credibility in society, but this diminishes in Jewish culture since these men were Gentiles. The most important event in the history of the world and God chooses people who are rejected and wouldn’t be believed by so…

Worship is a Lifestyle

"It's a lot easier to sing a song than it is to stop and touch the broken. It's a lot less taxing to go to church than to take 'church' to the world. But sharing with others is a sacrifice of worship that makes God smile." ~ Louie Giglio; The Air I Breathe

Worship isn't just about music. Worship isn't just an activity that is planned and programmed. Worship is about glorifying God with our lives. When we seek to honor God, we worship Him.

Worship happens anytime and anyplace. It happens Sunday mornings at church. It happens Wednesday night at Bible Study. It happens when we chat with our neighbor. It happens when we serve those in need. It happens when we show love to the lonely. Worship is what being a Christian is all about.

Worship is a life lived in response to God's gracious blessings. God has given us so much. We owe Him every breath we breathe. He is responsible for our talents we use. God has given us blessing after blessing. Only a life o…