Have you ever bought a bag of balloons for a party? Picture a balloon. Start blowing it up – it’s getting bigger and bigger and BIGGER —– POP! As the pressure of the air continues to increase, the tension on the balloon grows until eventually it explodes. On the other hand, if you start blowing up the balloon and then let go of it, all the pressure is let out and the balloon relaxes.
Balloons reminds me of friendship in two ways. If you have tension building between you and a friend, like Matthew 18 says, go to your friend (and only your friend) and share with her how you feel. When we approach our friend in complete honesty, we let the air out before our relationship pops!
The balloon also reminds me that our friendships can be a release for us – a safe place where we can “let go” of pressure that may be building up in our lives. If temptation is what you are struggling with, telling a trustworthy friend exposes Satan’s plans for evil against you. In exposing his plan, the power of the secret – the false guilt and shame that he is using – can be broken. We can also share trials or struggles. A great friend to share these types of situations with can be godly woman who hasalready faced these same trials.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work; if one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:9 -12
Keeping yourself in a place where you are accountable to others can also help you to overcome temptation and struggles as sometimes things are much clearer to those on the outside looking in. A fresh perspective may be just what you need to come out of your trial as the winner.
In my own life, I try to make a conscience effort to balance my time between friends who challenge me in my walk with Christ, friends I challenge in their walk with Christ and those who have yet to have a walk with Christ. If I spend too much time with my friends who have yet to surrender to Him, I see a reflection of that in my attitude and my priorities. On the other hand, if I spend the majority of my time with those who already know Him, I can become so comfortable that I don’t want to be around those who have yet to know Him.
We become like those we hang around with. It is very important that we are on our guard in regards to who we hang with and where we hang out. It is important to have godly friends who also have the desire to pursue intimacy with Jesus like we do. We must weigh carefully and observe the extent of influence that is taking place in each one of our friendships. In those relationships where I am the only believer, am I the influencer or the one being influenced?
In the prophetic book of Hosea, in chapter 7 verses 8 & 9, Hosea describes a group of people who have become “mixed up with the wrong crowd”. The Bible says Ephraim’s strength was “sapped” by foreigners. When we are around non-believers too long, they drain our spiritual strength. It is so important to be truly honest about how much others affecting us, because the path can be going very smooth – yet taking a very gradual turn away from Christ without us being fully aware that it is happening.
Look at the headings below. Under each one, think of which category each of your friends would fit into:
Those who challenge me in my walk with Christ
Those I challenge in their walk with Christ
Those who have yet to have a walk with Christ
How do the lists look? Are they balanced or “lop-sided”? What types of new relationships do you need to look for?
If you are lacking friends who challenge you, how could you go about finding a new godly friend?
Today ask the Lord what friends you should have in your life and how you can be that friend that another may be looking for!
Today I am giving away the book “The Friendship Factor” by Brenda Poinsett. To be included in today’s give away, share one idea on how a gal can go about making new friends! Please be sure to include your email address to I can let you know that you are a winner! Just click on comments below or if you receive this post by email, head over to http://www.lynncowell.com/!