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"My People" - How to Find and Strengthen Christian Relationships (part 2)



Recap from the part one of this two part series (go check it out here if you haven't already!): Relationships are hard, and no one ever really teaches you how to make and sustain friends - let alone good ones. But when you look into Scripture, even though there might not be a five step plan, there is so much insight and wisdom what quality, Christian friends look like and what it means to be in a godly friendship. I shared tips for making friends and going past the surface level with those friends, and today I want to talk about what it means to walk through life with our people and sustaining those relationships long term.


3. Walk through life with "my people"

When God reveals to us who our people really are, they aren't just casual friends. Our people are the ones that we trust with everything, the ones that God has given us to walk through the highs and lows together.


"You were all called to travel on the same road and in the same direction, so stay together, both outwardly and inwardly." - Ephesians 4:4 (MSG)


In this post, I talked a lot about how the early church was so connected and real. They literally shared everything together. They were like the inseparable best friends you saw on the playground at recess in elementary school. They were always together, in the good times, and the bad. In the struggle, and in the celebration, the early disciples chose to do it all together.


But in our world today, there's not a lot of that. There's a lot of cute Instagram pictures and the appearance of best friends, but there's also a lot of gossip, untruthfulness, and inauthenticity. There's a lot of "let's share the good stuff and hide the bad stuff". This isn't how God designed our community to look like.


We are called to share everything together, just like the early disciples. (Acts 2:42-47). We are called to prioritize meeting together (Hebrews 10:25). We are called to mourn with those who mourn and rejoice with those who rejoice - meaning we are to share all the experiences, good and bad, with "our people", our close community that God has blessed us with (Romans 12:15).


How do we do this? I think that the first, most basic (but not always easiest) way is to start opening up about the struggles and sins you are facing. This is more than just one deep conversation, but allowing them into your heart and home and letting them see the worst parts of you. This may look like asking them to battle with you in prayer, keep you accountable in school/your faith, or it may be as simple as sharing your favorite banana bread recipe and going on walks together. Whatever it may be - don't be afraid to share the good, the bad, and the ugly.


4. Sustain it You can't have "your people" if you don't put forth any effort to keep working at the friendship! Relationships take work, guys. Building your community won't be a one and done thing, it'll be a continual journey of investing, forgiving, and learning. Keep growing closer with your people and keep Christ at the center of all your relationships.


"One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." - Proverbs 18:24 (NIV)


One of the most important parts of relationships is that you are committed to sticking together. That means that you're willing to fight for your people until Jesus says not to anymore. That means that you don't give up when things get hard, but instead you know that all the conflicts and hardships can help your relationship grow and strengthen.


Another thing I'd like to add about sustaining relationships is that it's important to not idolize your relationships or what you want your relationships to look like. It can be very easy to put your people (or your ideal people) on a pedestal and expect them to meet all your needs and wants. But that's not healthy! It will end up tearing the relationship down and hurting both of your identities and relationships with the Lord. So work with each other and Jesus to keep Him on the throne of your heart. Find your identity in Him and Him alone, and that will serve you both well in the long run.


Remember, relationships require grace. No one is perfect, which means your relationships won't be perfect. That's okay! Just don't give up when times get hard.

 

Relationships are hard! It's easy to feel lonely and discouraged in a world that lacks authenticity and intimacy, especially in friendships. But God desires for us to experience community with fellow Christians, rooted in His word and committed to investing in each other! It is my prayer that through this two part series, we were able to bring some light and encouragement on how to make godly friends, as well as how to strengthen and sustain those friendships. I know that God has been teaching me so much about Christian relationships, and I've experienced firsthand the joys that come with having a quality, Christ-like community.


If you are struggling with this idea of friendship, leave a comment down below and I will be sure to pray for you! Or, if you have any wisdom and encouragement you'd like to add to the conversation, please feel free to leave it down in the comments so that we can uplift each other!

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