Theme of the Week: The Redemptive Power of Godly Friendship
Bible Verse: “Two are better than one” Ecclesiastes 4:9a ESV
Scripture Reading: Ecclesiastes 4:1-16
Deep friendship is universally treasured as one of the best things in life. Among Christians, friendship has the unique potential to be redemptive as well as rewarding.
The gospel of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection is about God being glorified in all things as all things are becoming redeemed through him. Redemption can therefore take place at every level and in every moment. Any act or decision that furthers God’s purpose is redemptive.
Jesus certainly understood well the redemptive power of friendship. For example, when he sent out his disciples to reap the harvest, he sent them out “two by two” (Luke 10:1). That is, he sent them as friends. Couldn’t the disciples have covered double the ground if Jesus had sent them out individually? Yes, but obviously not with the same effectiveness. He sent them in pairs because he understood that friendship enables us to do extraordinary things; things we would not be able to do on our own. This is because the Christian life is inescapably corporate. We need each other. “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!”(Ecclesiastes 4:9–10). A Proverbs-driven life is most ably lived in the company of godly friends.
Such friends, however, can be hard to gain and all too easy to lose. We so readily sin against one another, take offense where none was intended, or permit neglect to creep in. Left to ourselves, it can be difficult to know what words and deeds will strengthen and maintain our most vital relationships. How does it all work? What are the elements of broad, deep, redemptive friendship? What can get us beyond the kind of relationship that’s based on little more than, “Hey, we both like sports!” (or books, or technology, or the arts, or cooking, or theology…)?
This week, we will examine some key verses in Proverbs to learn about a level of friendship that Jesus alone makes possible. When pursued and practiced with biblical wisdom, friendship among Christians can be richly, consistently redemptive. It is this kind of friendship for which each of us deeply yearns, and in which God delights.
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