On friendship

I’ve been thinking about friendship this week, particularly in the context of church relationships. Mark Driscoll, Jared C. Wilson and Kevin DeYoung have each written on the topic this week and have some good thoughts to share. I’d like to weave some sweet story or tasteful introduction to each series but it’s 99 degrees and words have failed me, so without further ado, here we go:

Mark Driscoll on The Pastor and His Wife Get to Pick Their Own Friends – Part 1 and Part 2.

Jared C. Wilson on what friendship is and isn’t: Thoughts on Friendship (Part 1) and Grace-Driven Friendship (Part 2).

Finally, Kevin DeYoung’s The Gift of Friendship and the Godliness of Good Friends is a longer series, but well worth the read. I appreciate his thorough examination of friendship, especially within the context of church relationships. You can read Part 1 here, Are You a Fake Friend (Part 2)?, Are You a Foul Friend (Part 3)?, and Are You a Faithful Friend (Part 4)?

What I appreciated about each of these posts is that they convicted me to search my own heart for specific ways that I may be failing as a friend, rather than encourage me to commiserate about how other people aren’t being good friends. I’ve read many “Christian” perspectives on friendship over the years that were often along the lines of something like, “God is close to the lonely,” or “Even when you feel like your friends have forsaken you, Jesus is the most faithful friend you’ll ever have.” Both are good and true sentiments (praise God for His compassion!) but also I’ve also found that they  inadvertently encouraged me to adopt a victim mentality and assume that if I was feeling lonely, then it was someone else’s fault.

Friendship goes both ways, though, and as someone who tends to look for the log before taking care of the speck, I’m grateful for these Gospel-centered posts that encourage me to examine myself first!