Thank You To My Christian Friends For Reminding Me What’s Really Important

Thank You To My Christian Friends For Reminding Me What’s Really Important

You love me not just as a dear friend, but also as a sister in Christ.
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Humans are social creatures that need intimacy and relationships in order to thrive. Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, you know that we all have a desire for friendship. It’s how we are all created to function.

Even though I’ve experienced periods of loneliness in my life (hello, middle school), I have generally had a wide array of friends from different areas I’m involved in. Over the years I’ve learned to appreciate and befriend all kinds of people, and I love having a diverse set of different groups to spend time with.

But there’s just something different about Christian friends.

Don’t get me wrong; all of my pals have the capacity to encourage me and make me feel better when I’m down. But as a Christian whose life is defined by my relationship with Jesus Christ, there’s just something unique about being surrounded by a community of fellow believers who can love you not just as a dear friend, but also as a brother or sister in Christ.

We are not necessarily drawn together by our similarities. My circle of Christian friends includes people with different backgrounds, different ages, different majors, different interests, different political philosophies, different personalities.

Some of us may never have become friends except that we somehow ended up in a Bible study together. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

What draws us together, above any surface-level enjoyment of each other’s company or even a deeper social connection, is our common love for Jesus. People whose lives have been changed by the Gospel are able to experience a brotherhood that goes beyond normal close friendship, because regardless of our similarities or differences, our lives are centered on the truth of Christ's love, which enables us also to "love because He first loved us" (1 John 4:19).

We are not just friends, but parts of one "Body of Christ" united in a common purpose of displaying His love in the world.

This reality has become clear in some of the most challenging times in my life. When tragedy strikes, your family and friends are there for you to help you recover in any way they can. But when I struggle, my Christian friends don't just provide for physical and relational needs as they come up. These brothers and sisters also speak to my deeper spiritual needs by pointing me back to the Gospel — the "good news" that God loves me, that Jesus died and rose again for me, and that through faith in that merciful reality I have the hope of God's presence in this life and the next.

Even though I already believe this to be true, it can be so easy to lose sight of this hope in the midst of life's struggles. That is why I am so incredibly blessed by my friends who are not only able to share their time and love in immediate ways, but are also willing to pray for me and help me refocus on Jesus rather than my circumstances.

These friends have no special power to miraculously fix my problems, but their Biblical encouragement and reminders to trust in God's "good, pleasing, and perfect will" (Romans 12:2) consistently change my perspective.

So, thank you for helping me to "turn my eyes upon Jesus," because that is the only thing that makes "the things of earth" begin to seem "strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace."

Cover Image Credit: Olivia Corso

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12 Bible Verses For Faith In Hard Times

Remind yourself that God is always with you.
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Lately, I have felt lost at what God wants for my life. Ever since I've come back to UWG everything has been horrible. It seems that I can't catch a break. I'm trying my best to focus on school, work, and extracurricular activities. But it's hard when I'm having issues with my apartment/roommates and knowing my family back home is struggling and needs many prayers. All, I keep thinking is maybe Carrollton isn't where I belong anymore. I've asked God if He can guide me in the right direction. Below, I have found Bible verses that have helped get me through these rough, past couple of weeks.

1. Isaiah 43:2

"When you go through deep waters, I will be with you."

2. Psalm 37:5

"Commit your way to the Lord. Trust in Him, and He will act."

3. Romans 8:18

"The pain that you've been feeling, can't compare to the joy that's coming."

4. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed in strength, and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future."

5. Joshua 1:9

"Be bold. Be brave. Be courageous."

6. Ecclesiastes 3:1

"There is a time for everything and a reason for every activity under the heavens."

7. Isaiah 41:10

"Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand."

8. Isaiah 66:9

"I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born, says the Lord."

9. Psalm 91:4

"He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings, you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart."

10. Psalm 62:1-2

"My soul finds rest in God alone, my salvation comes from Him, He alone is my rock and my salvation."

11. Philippians 4:13

"I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength."

12. Jeremiah 29:11

"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Cover Image Credit: pixabay.com

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Since When Did Having Your Life Figured Out Become An Expectation?

There's no timeline for life, and there shouldn't be.

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Let's just cut to the chase. There shouldn't be an expected timeline of life that us, as humans, should be expected to follow. There isn't a certain age that we should be married by, or a time slot that we have to graduate in. It's just unrealistic because, well, life happens. And the majority of the time, we can't control it.

So then why does society pressure us into this schedule that seems to be looming over our heads? There's no consequence to not having children by 27, there's nothing wrong with having a steady significant other and not being engaged by 24. And really, nothing horrible is going to happen if your timeline doesn't match up with your best friend's.

A whole lot of things in life are out of our control. We don't know when we're going to meet "the one", or even if we already have. We don't know what job we will have after graduation, or if it will be a job we stay in for years to come. And guess what: it's okay. Because we have time.

One of the best lessons I have learned in my life is that we cannot control everything in our lives. We can't predict the future. Yes, you can feel as though you have your whole life planned out, but in the blink of an eye, everything can change. So moral of the story, don't stress about things that you can't control. Because all the time you spend stressing about them, is time that you could have spent enjoying the moment that you are in.

There's not a fairy that is going to come down and curse you for not having a job by 23, or forbid you from finding love because you haven't found it by 25. It's an unrealistic expectation. And guess what: life happens on its own, and we can't control all of it. Sometimes it may suck, and it can be entirely unexpected, but it's life. So put an anchor in the present, and have faith that you will figure it out.

Because you will.

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