Scripture Reading: Luke 5:18–19
So brethren, how can we avoid Peter’s mistake in our friendships? Today we shall highlight distinct ways that true Christian friendships bolster our love for Christ through our love for one another.
True friends expose to us the sin in us that keeps us from God. “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy”. (Proverbs 27:6) Sin deceives us. We need friends to lovingly show us our sin. We need friends to help us see our blind spots. We need friends to speak with brutal honesty (Matthew 18:15) and tender compassion (Galatians 6:1), telling us the truth about ourselves even when we don’t want to hear it (Ephesians 4:15).
True friends encourage us to obey God. Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and do good works. (Hebrews 10:24; see also Hebrews 3:13) While it is true, we need friends to help us see any disobedience, we also need them to spur us on to obedience.
The encouragement we are told to give isn’t flattery or superficial inspiration. En-courage-ment is giving courage and strength to others for the intimidating task before them. We affirm that their obedience glorifies God and counts in eternity. Whatever form it takes, encouragement motivates others to continue running the specific race God has marked out for them.
True friends bring us to God in our weakness. Alone, we easily believe the lies of Satan. Alone, we buckle under the weight of our sin. Alone, we grow discouraged and weary. Like the paralytic, we need the help of other believers to carry us to God. So, how can we bring others to God? We can meet the practical needs of those enduring intense suffering in Jesus’s name. Or we can simply bring our friends to God in prayer, asking him to do greater things in their lives than we can do for them.
MASS: GREEN ST ELIZABETH OF HUNGARY (MEMORIAL) Rev 3:1-6.14-22; Ps 115:2-3a.3bc-4ab.5(R. Rev 3:21); Accl Jn 4:10b; Gospel Lk 19:1-10
1. Lord, You know who my dearest friends are. I want them to see Jesus when they see me. Lord, please mould me in such a way that You can use me to be the feet of Jesus to them. Whatever the need is, I want to be there for them, Lord. I want to pray with them and for them. I want to study Your Word with them. I want to sing praises to You with them. I want to listen to them with a compassionate heart when they are hurting. Lord, may I always be willing to push pride off from me and allow You to shape me into someone who lives as Jesus Christ does!
Exercise: Like everything else, the end goal of our friendships should be God and his glory
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Meditation: 1 Corinthians 10:31