Who cares if you throw your life away?
I went to breakfast with a friend last week. It was a breakfast that ended up lasting for three hours. It lasted so long because every time she and I would get ready to go pay, we would see that there were five or six people standing in line at the register, so we preferred to continue talking. It was easy for us to recognize that the more preferable option for us was to stay planted where we were rather than to try and get through the line to pay and leave.
While three-hour breakfasts may not be good for your day-to-day life, I do think they could help your spiritual life.
Don’t Fight Sin Alone
The more people and relationships there are standing in between us and the cost of the sin in our lives, the more likely we are to choose to stay planted in the path that God has called us to follow. That is the importance of community and intentional relationships.
Don’t get me wrong — we all have times when we sin because our guard is down. Times of temptation and trial will come, so it’s important that as we put our guard up against sin, we also work to cultivate and grow our relationships with God and each other.
What I Got Wrong About Relationships
For a long time, I felt like my life was too messy to pursue better relationships with Jesus and His people. I wrongly believed that I couldn’t start taking steps towards growing intentional relationships until I had my stuff together.
Being a Christian isn’t just about guarding against sin, but about growing our relationships with Jesus and each other.
It wasn’t until coming to NewSpring that I realized that taking one next step often leads to another and another and that is how the Lord helps us clean up our messes. Through reading my Bible and praying, I began to desire to serve, and through getting involved in serving at Fuse, I met people and joined their Group. If you’re struggling to find your next step, I would encourage you to simply start with one of these:
Three Ways to Start Building Friendships That Keep You Going
1. Read the Bible and pray.
You can’t get to know God by simply going to church and hearing about Him every week. It’s important to foster your relationship with God by reading His Word written just for you and talking to Him through prayer (Matthew 4:4).
2. Serve in the local church.
Our relationship with God and others are not completely separate. In John 15:13, we are told that there is no greater love than to lay down your life for your friends. Sometimes laying down your life looks like selflessly serving people like Jesus serves people.
One way we can learn how to do that best is through serving in the local church alongside our friends. Not only is it a great way to grow the friendships you already have, it’s also a terrific way to build new friendships!
3. Find community.
Groups are a great way to learn how to follow Jesus better. There is power in knowing we are not alone in our peaks or in our valleys.
I was intimidated by the idea of joining a Group alone, so I began by just making one friend that I was serving with. If finding community is something you are struggling with, start by asking one person to go to coffee or dinner. Once you begin growing that relationship, invite someone else to join you. Community starts with two.