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Friendship and Love

We’re all amateurs when it comes to love and relationships. I’ve never seen anyone go professional or get corporate sponsorships for their gold medal friendship status. Friendship isn’t an Olympic sport!

I’ve never seen anyone walk onto a stage and get a standing ovation for just being a friend. Generally, you have to sing, dance, or perform for that kind of response. And I think that’s the difference between being loved and making people clap. Love can’t be earned; it can only be given. And it is best exchanged by people who are completely true to each other. True friendship and love are only possible when we drop the act, stop performing, and we are willing to show our true selves to the people around us.

This is why genuine friendship is so rare. Being willing to drop the act and be vulnerable can be scary and hard, and it is oftentimes counter cultural to what we have been taught. In fact, it seems to me that we’ve let magazines at the end of grocery store aisles, TV shows and movies, and shallow social media posts do most of the talking about relationships. And so it should be no surprise we’ve ended up with a distorted idea not only of who we are, but also of what it means to love others well.

However, I have a friend that has taught me a great deal about relationships. I know that he loves me because he has told me (which can be rare for guys to do.) But even if he hadn’t said a word, I’d know my friend loved me because I have experienced how he has treated me during times of tremendous joy, success, sadness, or uncertainty. In a couple words, he has been “with” me and “for” me.

Back in college my friend and I went on a week-long service project to a Christian camp located in the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee. When we arrived, we were given a tent and some sleeping bags, and we were warned about the bears that would frequently roam the Smoky Mountains.

After getting into our tent, my friend quickly rolled out his sleeping bag by the tent entrance. The bears would have to get by him to get to me. Good friends do that kind of thing; they guard each other when things get scary by putting themselves in between their friends and what could harm them.

While we are all amateurs in regards to love and friendship, there are some qualities that nudge us closer to professional status. We would be wise to let down our guard, share our lives freely, and love others sacrificially. This kind of love can transform you for the better; I know it has in my life.

Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well. (1 Thess. 2:8)

At the time of you reading this newsletter my good friend will have gone in for a pretty major surgery. I’d love for you to join me in praying for his full and quick recovery.