Christian Friendship

Photo by Serge Bertasius taken from freedigitalphotos.net

Photo by Serge Bertasius taken from freedigitalphotos.net

How does Christianity translate into our friendships? Author Cherie Burbach offers the answer in today’s guest blog post. As you read, keep in mind those friendships you want to nurture, and remember the ones you want to begin too.

But first, I want to announce the winner of last week’s give-away. Elizabeth Dent, congrats! You won a copy of Darlene Franklin’s latest release, Christmas Mail Order Angels. I’ll be contacting you soon to chat about the best way to get that to you.

For those of you who didn’t win, don’t fret; you have a chance to win an equally awesome novel today!

GIVE-AWAY ALERT! Cheri is giving away one free copy of her latest release, 100 Simple Ways to Have More Friends. A winner will be randomly selected from the comments and shipping is only available to those living in the continental US.

Christian Friendships by author Cherie Burbach

Romans 12:10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Out do one another in showing honor.

One reason I like writing about relationships is because it’s universal. No matter who we are or where we come from, we all share a desire to be liked, to feel cared about, and be respected. We just want to get along. Despite the strife and arguments the world experiences, in the end we really do want peace.

As Christians, it can be difficult to show our best to people. And yet, we must do this.

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photo taken from freedigitalphotos.net by tiramisustudio

John 15:12-15 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.

A very wise friend of mine once said, “We’re called to love one another. Not like each other.” Loving is harder. It involves rising above pettiness and the exterior of someone’s personality and looking instead at that person the way God would. God doesn’t always agree with our choices but He loves us. We can do the same. We can simply open our hearts and move beyond the things we don’t agree with, leave judgement to God, and show love. Friendship is the first step to that.

About 100 Simple Ways to Have More Friends:

51xZ3DOlc5L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_The more friends you have, the more you’ll have the right people in your life to give you the support and connection you desire. Having more friends means you’ll consistently connect with new people and also keep the good friends you already have. If your friendships don’t seem to stick, you’ll be making friends and losing them quickly. The key to having more friends is increasing the number of people you meet on a regular basis and holding on to the great pals you already have.

This book contains one hundred suggestions on how to make new friends and also strengthen the friendships you already have. The tips are varied, with suggestions on how to meet new people interspersed with ideas for nurturing your new and existing friendships.

Cherie Burbach has written about relationships for over a decade at places like About.com, NBC/Universal, Match.com, Christianity Today, and more. She’s penned 17 books, her latest of which is 100 Simple Ways to Have More Friends. Visit her website for more info, cherieburbach.com.

Let’s talk about this. Lately, numerous women have toldlivingbygracepic.jp me they have a difficult time forming friendships and making connections with other women. I think there are numerous reasons for this (and for those who are local, I’ll be talking about this at an upcoming Moms group meeting in January), more than can be addressed in one blog post. But I do think forming and maintaining meaningful connections takes work, and perseverance. And it requires us to embrace risk, because reaching out can be scary.

Do you feel you have meaningful connections, and if so, do you have tips to offer others who may not feel the same? If not, is there something you can do this week to connect with others? Also, look at your relationship history. Do you tend to cycle through friendships or maintain relationships? How do you handle conflict when it arises? What do you do when a friend hurts you? Do you walk away or do the hard work to move past the hurt and deepen the relationships?

Heavy subject, but an important one, I feel. Share your thoughts and experiences in the commends below, because we can all learn from one another!

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4 thoughts on “Christian Friendship

  1. Great thought, Cherie! My best advice is to follow I Corinthians 13. Especially the part about believing the best. It’s more painful that way if you are betrayed but I feel that’s the way Jesus loved.

    • I absolutely love that, Jen. I was just talking with one of the pastors at my church yesterday about the need, whenever there’s not information or whatever, to always fill in the gap with trust. In other words, choose to assume the best in others rather than worst. 🙂

  2. “What do you do when a friend hurts you?” I think that depends on the nature of the hurt and whether there’s been any ability to reconcile. I hate conflict and one friend who I had for years shut me down when I was at a really low point and reaching out for help. All I asked was for her to remind me God is faithful. She told me I lacked faith and she shut the door to further friendship. That was so painful. But those who I can talk to and be heard, we can move past it. Typically friends who know me really well, there’s little conflict. Everyone’s too busy to fuss over the little stuff and when you have a larger circle of friends no one person has to be burdened when life’s trials are chronic. So those friends who cross the line and won’t reconcile? I’ll be nice when I see them in person but typically on Facebook, I restrict their access to my page. It takes a lot for me to be pushed to that extent though! God has blessed me so much with the friends I have now.

    • Oh, Susan, I’m so sorry. I’m so glad you’ve found some friends who you feel connected to now. It is hard, when conflict arises and resolution seems either unwanted or impossible. I’m reminded of Romans 12:18, which says, “As far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Because it doesn’t always depend on us. All we can do is what we believe to be right, owning our part in the conflict and seeking peace (which means wholeness and restoration of the relationship). How the other person responds to our efforts is not our responsibility or within our control.

      Blessings and hugs!

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