I have been trying to read more books over the past few years. The kids and I finished two book series: Little House and Chronicles of Narnia. They were so good for me to read because I am drawn to books that are "self-help" in nature but focused on Christ - in that we don't "help ourselves," we trust in Jesus' work on the cross to do that. The books I read can be overwhelming, often taking me deep into my habits and relationships, attempting to draw out the best of Jesus in my life. I know some people don't enjoy or desire books like that, but I do. I want to live my best life in Christ, not merely "getting by" in life. My desire is for Him and for His name to be known.
The book we chose to read for October was refreshingly short but still extremely eye-opening. If I am spending a month to read through a book, I want it to be "worth it" however that is measured. The book is called The Company We Keep: In Search of Biblical Friendship. It consists of six chapters - and I enjoyed it very much. I have always had friends but I have always desired for those friendships to be amazing! The "quality" of my friendships has been determined by differing scales throughout my life - all designed by me. I determined if the friendship was "good" or "enough" and that isn't necessarily wrong but it certainly isn't fair to myself or my friend. That is why I was excited to read this book. It gives a more Biblical perspective on friendship and what our friendships can look like with Christ as the center. Obviously, any book I read, outside of the Bible, isn't going to be the "be-all-end-all" of the issues in my life. This book is no exception but it does offer a good direction on the next step in many of my friendships.
This is a quote from the first chapter. It talks about the difference between friendships in the world and a friendship with Jesus at the center.
"For not only is he the center, he also gives us the power to follow his example and befriend others. This embodied friendship, centered on Jesus, flows out into every area of life. Friendship ceases to be primarily something we do, and instead it transforms into something we become as we follow Christ." - Holmes
I am encouraged that my focus in friendships should be Christ and following His example and I watch Him do the work through me. What a great blessing to be reminded yet again that there is nothing I have to do to earn favor in this life. Jesus has already paid the price I was meant to pay and now I trust Him and obey. The gospel is good news.
So, to my friends who are reading this, thank you for your love and friendship and for you listening ear as I verbally process life! I am so thankful to be walking life with you.
If you desire more direction in your friendships, please read this book. When you finish, contact me and we can talk.