#045: Do You Have People Who Are In The Mess With You?
Do you have friends that are in your mess? Friends that know what you're struggling with and are praying for you?
In this episode, I want to encourage you to intentionally seek out those friendships and build upon them.
Why? Because God delights in a body of Christ that is united.
When I think of Gospel-centered friendships, I think of people doing life with one another - they don't put up a facade to look good and there's no secret competitions to see who is more "put together".
These are people who are in the mess with you, who are with you through thick and thin;
they are not afraid to ask the hard questions because they are more concerned about you glorifying Christ than offending you.
They are there to pray for you; they weep with you when you are in the valley, and they rejoice with you when you are on mountain tops.
Do you have people in your life who are in the mess with you?
Can you name a few people like that?
I don't ask this question to make you feel bad if you don't have any. This is not a competition.
My goal is to get you to pause for a moment, take a step back, and see if there's anyone in your life who are going through life's ups and downs with you. If you don't - that's okay - let's do something about it.
Some of you might be thinking, "yeah, I'd love to have Gospel-centered friendships but I'm afraid because I've been hurt before. I've been disappointed. I've been betrayed."
If that's you, let me say that I'm sorry that you've been hurt. I'm sorry that a certain person has left a scar on your heart.
In a perfect world, that would've never happened.
But because we are sinners living in a broken world, there are inevitably going to be hurt and disappointments.
But God doesn't leave us in the hurt.
God is a God who restores broken relationships. When we broke our relationship with God through our sin, He Himself planned out how He was going to make things right and He executed that plan for us.
Back in the Old Testament days when there were temples for God, there were curtains that separated people from the place where God dwelt.
It kept people from having a direct relationship with God but God wasn't going to leave it like that. He loved us too much to leave the relationship broken so He sent Jesus to take our place by tasting death.
The moment Jesus took His last breath, the curtain of the temple was torn in two.
The curtain that kept us from a direct relationship with God was torn.
If God could restore our relationship with Him that was wrecked by sin, He is more than capable of mending the broken relationship we have with each other.
Our friendship with one another doesn't have to stay broken. It can be restored and mended.
My encouragement for you today is to bring your hurt to the Lord.
He already knows your hurt.
Leave it at His Feet and let Him heal your relationship.
Let your relationship not be about you, not be about what the other person has done,
but be about Christ.
Gospel-centered friendships are pleasing to the Lord.
God likes to see unity in Christ.
Now, it doesn't mean that it's easy for us to pursue that.
It takes work; it takes a lot of effort.
But the fruit that comes out of unity is going to be so sweet.
How Do We Pursue Friendships with Intentions?
1) Start with you
Don't wait for the other person to make the first move.
We'd be waiting a lifetime if we're all waiting around for the other person to initiate.
Pick up your phone, call or text someone and make that connection.
Open your home and let others into your life.
It doesn't matter if your home is not Pinterest worthy.
What matters is you are opening your heart to others.
2) Get Plugged In
Seek out opportunities to know the brothers and sisters in Christ in your area.
My church has community groups where people meet once a week - it's a time we use to read the Scripture (or a Gospel-centered book together); it's a time to share a meal and do life together.
Reach out to your church today and see if you can get plugged into a small group in your town.
3) Seek Relationships Online
Maybe you're in a season of life where you are not plugged into a local church;
maybe you've been moving around so much it's hard to get to know anyone.
That is where the online space can be so beneficial to you.
A lot of times people just shut out the idea of online relationships thinking you can't build real relationships online.
I'm not arguing the importance of face-to-face relationships but God can use the online space as a springboard to grow new friendships.
I can't tell you how many times I've been encouraged by people I've met online - I've never met them in person - but God still used them to speak encouragement to me.
So don't discredit the online space.
That is one of the reasons why I'm creating Indwelt Women Academy, an online Bible study community.
It's a space for women to get quality Bible time studying the Word of God and be supported and encouraged by other women from all walks of life.
We are going to read the Scripture together.
We are going to hold each other accountable and pray for each other.
It is a community that aims to help you pursue God by showing unity in the body of Christ.
God didn't make you a lone ranger in this life.
There are so many blessings that come with being in community so don't miss out on those blessings. Initiate, reach out, and let the unity of Christ be evidential in your life.