Loving God and Your Neighbor in Your Vocation of Friendship
Friendship. I just like the sound of that word. It brings a smile to my face. From my childhood and through adolescence and adulthood, I have always treasured friendship. I love having women in my life with whom I can share the journey. They celebrate you, commiserate with you, and add so much color to your life. One of my favorite things to do is to sit with a friend and discuss life over a glass of wine, sharing our successes and failures as they happen in everyday moments.
My husband and I found a church we fell in love with nine years ago, and we have made many deep friendships there. It was the place where I realized what an important role friendship can play in our lives as individuals and in the body of Christ as a whole.
Friendship is a vocation.
I had never considered friendship to be an avenue in which to serve God or to advance his kingdom, but it can be just that. He often uses very ordinary means to accomplish the extraordinary—we just need to open our eyes to them. The beautiful thing about being committed to a congregation is that you will find yourself in friendships that may never have developed unless church brought you together. When I look around on a Sunday morning, there are people of different ages, socioeconomic status, races, and vocations, but we are all bound together as believers in the body of Christ.
Some of my most meaningful relationships have been formed with women very different from me. I’ve been able to glean so much from women significantly older than I am. Seeing how marriage and motherhood looks in a later season of life allows me to appreciate what is happening in my own stage. I have a group of godly women who have gone before me in this adventure called life, women I can call on for advice or quietly watch and observe. On the other end, I’ve been able to offer advice to younger women. I’ve been able to show love through a kind word or prepared meal.
Friends serve as the hands and feet of our Savior.
When I became a mother, I especially saw how valuable a good friend can be. Women brought me meals after I had a baby; offered to watch my children so my husband and I could enjoy a desperately needed date night; celebrated my successes; and offered a shoulder to cry on when life was falling apart. They pray for me, listen to me, and teach me. My friends serve as the hands and feet of our Savior when they help in these seemingly small and insignificant ways; and as a result, the body of Christ is strengthened. Extraordinary indeed.
Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. (Col. 3:12-14)
So, friends and treasured children of the king, I urge you to seek out ways in which God can use you in your role as friend. May your relationships and the body of Christ be strengthened as a result of your God-given vocation of friendship!
God at Work: Your Christian Vocation in All of Life by Gene Edward Veith
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