Lesson 2 of 3 in our “#tribe” Series @ ordinaryfaith.net.
In our first message of this series we discussed our need to mature as a person in order to have community. It’s not that we are unworthy of a real community if we are immature, it is that immaturity prevents us from staying within a community. So to grow as a person we need to learn to learn from conflict, to give what we need in life, and to live with openness as vulnerable people. Today we’ll talk about the KIND of Friends that we need and that we need to be.
Proverbs 18:24 (NLT) …a real friend sticks closer than a brother.
Proverbs 27:10 (NLT) Never abandon a friend— either yours or your father’s.
A Friend Who CALLS You UP!
God sent Samuel to anoint a new King to replace King Saul. So Samuel was sent to Jesse’s house where he meets each of Jesse’s sons. When he meets Jesse’s oldest and apparently very good looking son, Samuel thinks to himself, “This is the guy”, but God corrects Samuel. God tells Samuel to look deeper.
1 Samuel 16:7 (NLT) But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
We need Someone who can see past our dirt. Okay, so yeah, there is a lot wrong with us. We are moody, angry, lonely, depressed, needy and the list goes on. It’s just not hard to find the sinfulness and the dirt in broken, sinful people. We need people in our lives who are able to see in us what we are meant to be. We need people who are able to see past our “dirt. And, We need people to encourage us in the pursuit of God’s intention for our lives.
Hebrews 10:24 (NLT) Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.
A Friend Who FILLS You UP!
Jonathan and David were instant friends. Jonathan vowed friendship with David almost immediately upon meeting him. He stood for David and protected him fearlessly in the face of his father’s wrath. But most importantly, Jonathan believed in God and he apparently had faith to spare.
1 Samuel 23:16 (NLT) Jonathan went to find David and encouraged him to stay strong in his faith in God.
None of us have everything we need in life. Which means we need people to pour into us.
Proverbs 27:17 (NLT) As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.
We need a “Potluck” Kind of Faith. I grew up on church “Potlucks”. Times were tough in the seventies but church potlucks certainly helped. In lean times the meals at home could get a little boring, but when there was a potluck, we ate like kings. Everyone brought something. We shared. WE laughed. And, Life was good. Potlucks probably taught me more about how a community works than any class or sermon. Potlucks taught me that friendship is about pouring into each other. It’s about “filling” each other up. We each give to the community of friends what we have. By sharing, we then partake of the bounties of friendship.
A Friend Who Calls You OUT!
Throughout the history of Israel there was often at least one guy whose job it was to say the unpopular thing to the nation and to the King. During David’s reign it was Nathan. Most of the time it was fine, but you may remember that David fouled up big. Without telling all the story, we’ll just note that there was adultery, deceit, murder, a cover up, and a really fast marriage. THEN David acting as if nothing had happened. It became one of those big “We don’t talk about it” things.
It was Nathan’s job to address this kind of stuff so he did in a way that was kind of funny but not really. If you have ever watched one of those big REVEAL type of shows like “Fixer Upper” or “The Property Brothers” You’ll better picture what happened.
Nathan tells a real tear jerker of a story about a guy and his favorite lamb. In the story this total JERK took away the fella’s lamb. David fell for it hook line and sinker. He firmly condemned the jerk in the story, then Nathan set the hook.
2 Samuel 12:7 (NLT) Then Nathan said to David, “You are that man!”
As hard as it is to hear, we all need a friend like Nathan. If you have a friend who loves you enough to know you, and then to come and get you when you’re drowning. Don’t let them go.
Proverbs 27:6 (NLT) Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.
And briefly, we have discussed the friends we need, but there are some that we don’t need. WE should never live in bitterness and unforgiveness. So regardless of our relational challenges we need to forgive, BUT… It is okay to set boundaries. There is nothing wrong with unsubscribing from someone’s “feed”. That being said, “Find Your TRIBE!”
- What’s your “relationship status”? What kind of friends do you have in your life? Do your friends pour into you or make you stronger? How?
- Share a time that a friend or mentor saw something in you that you didn’t see.
- How do friends “pour” into us? How might we better “pour” into our friends?
- Discuss the things you have in your life that you could share with your friends.
- Discuss a correction that would help you or that you would receive.
- Do you have any toxic relationships in your life? How could you “unsubscribe”?
- Did anything stand out in your reading today that you could share with someone else?