It has been an amazing summer, here in the Okanagan. I love the pace. Late morning get-ups. Sipping my coffee, rather than gulping it down. Lazy afternoons spent floating on the sun-sparkled water. Kelowna is synonymous with freshly grown fruit and veggies. The peaches are to die for and there is nothing like a casual evening dinner on my deck, grilled veggies included, overlooking the lush green vineyards. I love summer, but I sure have missed Thursdays.
I Miss Thursdays
For ten months of the year, Thursdays are the day I look forward to. After the husband is off to work and the kids safely at school, I get together with two amazing, spirit-filled, friends. We spend a couple of hours talking, over coffee of course, about what is going on in our lives. Often, one of us has a question about a specific passage of the Bible. Together we wrestle through the Biblical applications for our present life circumstances and the implications for us, spiritually.
We Mentor One Another
We prayerfully support and encourage each another. We hold victory celebrations when someone is able resist temptation, thwarting the enemy’s plans. Shamelessly, we speak truth when truth is required. Mentoring can happen in many ways, but the purpose is always the same: to hold one another accountable to the higher standard, the holy life-style, that God has called us to.
“A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.” ~ Ecclesiastes 4:12.
Mentors, or spiritual confidants, are true friends, with real benefits. They want you to be who God wants you to be. They will do whatever it takes, to help you reach that goal. The Bible exhorts that you are to be this kind of friend. In addition, you are to surround yourself with these types of friends, rather than false friends. How do you tell the difference?
True vs False Friends
Characteristics that distinguish true friends, with real benefits, from false friends
|False Friends||True Friends|
|Host a pity party when their friends struggle with relationships||Encourage confessions of sins, one to another, and promote forgiveness|
|Scoffers of the Bible. They look for loopholes in God’s Word.||Speak the truth in love. Their heart is to protect one another from the enemy and his schemes.|
|They spread strife and separate.||Their goal is always restoration and reconciliation.|
|They fuel pride and promote self-centeredness.||Encourage humility and others-centeredness.|
|Are happy when others mess up because they think it makes them look good.||Grieve and do not rejoice when someone fails.|
|They rarely pray, if at all.||Pray and intercede for one another all the time.|
|They love the world more than they love God or their friends.||Love each other deeply from the heart.|
|When they’ve been wronged, their friendship ends in divorce.||Nothing can separate them from their love for their friends.|
We Need Fellowship and Discipleship
This summer, I’ve been surrounded by people all day long. Many of whom I love dearly. Even so, I got lonely.
Complete with milestone celebrations and new life-challenges, it’s been unusually busy. With ministry start-ups, the usual September demands, an influx of company, and unpredictable routines, I need Thursdays, more than ever. My soul craves the intimate conversations, united in Spirit, grounded in truth, with friends that infuse me with hope. Sure, I’ll miss summer. But not as much as I’ve missed Thursdays.
Do you have a true friend, with real benefits? Will you commit to becoming that type of friend, to someone else?
It is the responsibility of every true believer to disciple others bringing them to maturity, in Christ. Begin to look around you. There is someone, maybe even two. True friends, with real benefits, that God has purposely placed in your life. We glorify God when we are integrally involved in this kingdom ministry.
Have a Spirit-filled day. Share it with a friend.
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