I started a Bible study last week with some friends and the topic is.….you guessed it! Friendship! The easy-to-read study is called Abide by Andrea LeBeau and it’s a great group conversation starter. We had some really good discussion and prayer over each other. This got me thinking more about what I wanted to share here about friendships.
One chapter specifically this past week was on cultivating our friendships. That’s one thing I’ve noticed about any relationship or any goal for that matter. If you want something to happen, you have to be intentional about it. Sure, there are times when things just plop in our laps. A job you were not even thinking about comes your way. Some people are just skinny, and don’t even have to work at it…not me, but hey a girl can dream, right? Or maybe an acquaintance relationship sparks into a beautiful friendship because you were two peas in a pod and it just came naturally. For those times, be thankful for those gifts. However, most of the time we have to work at the things we want. Whether that be a career path or business, a healthy weight, a thriving marriage, or a community of friends. We have to be intentional about it. We must value others above ourselves.
I’m somewhat of a lifelong learner. If money was no issue, I’d probably still be in college! So I’m always reading and watching lectures or documentaries and such. Someone at our church recently gifted every member a subscription to Right Now Media. So the nerd in me was STOKED! I went through it the first night and made a queue a mile long! Ha! (Side note, this subscription is also awesome because we have a plethora of Bible Studies at the click of the remote to share with others in our home! I highly recommend it for hosting Bible studies and groups in your home!) Well, this week I’ve been watching Andy Stanley’s “Taking Care of Business” Seminars. The very first one was so good, I had to watch it twice and share it with my husband. While it might be specifically talking about business and work, I gleaned wisdom that could be applied to all areas of our lives and that could even be applied to this idea of cultivating or being intentional in our relationships, and more specifically our friendships.
You’ve seen or heard Colossians 3:23-24 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.” Andy said that sometimes we feel like our work has no value, no meaning. But basically he was saying that it actually does. “You are showing how faithful you can be with the “little things.”
“His master replied, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness.”-Matthew 25: 21
He said something to the effect that it’s not really about where we’re at, it’s more about what we’re doing with where we’re at. “The call is to put your heart into whatever you are doing.”
This made me think about how I’m stewarding my relationships with my kids, my husband and family…and my friends. Are we just going with the flow, floating along while life passes by, waiting for friends to take the initiative with us? Or are we intentionally pouring ourselves into what we are doing and who we’re with? Whether that be our 9-5 work, being a stay at home mom, a homeschooling mom, a wife, a daughter, a daughter-in-law, a friend, are we putting our heart into these callings? Sisters, we need to do EVERYTHING as if we’re doing it for the Lord. Because we are! These relationships have eternal value.
“Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done.”-Revelation 22:12
“So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.” -Romans 14:12 See also Matthew 12:36, 16:27, 2 Cor. 5:10.
Look back at the parable of the bags of gold in Matthew 25:14-30. Now instead of bags of gold, insert and read friends, or children, or business, or anything you have been called to. Anything that’s be given to you to steward. How are you managing these? Are you being faithful, diligent, and intentional? I SO need to work on this!
This week, I want to encourage you (and myself) to be a “Good and Faithful” Friend. If you have not been putting your whole heart into the relationships around you…and I’ll be the first to admit I fail at this all too often…I encourage you to try that this coming week with me. Andy Stanley said just try for one day. “Decide for one day to do all your ‘work’ with all your heart.”
If you need some ideas of how to put your whole heart into your friendships, Nicole over at The Professional Mommy Project has some good tips on making mommy friends, which are also good tips on how to be a good friend. “Using a Host Mindset” stood out to me. That’s something I haven’t really thought about! So tell me what’s one way you plan on putting your whole heart into a relationship? What’s one relationship you plan on cultivating this week?