be the kind of friend you want to have.
because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of god but our lives as well.
1 THESSALONIANS 2:8B
I’m not naturally a good friend maker.
I mean, I want friends. I need friends. I just have trouble putting myself out there. During one particularly dry season, I blurted out to a group of women I didn’t know very well that I really needed a friend. Of course, I immediately regretted it. “Why did I say that? Why do I say awkward things out loud? Now no one will want to be friends with me, the needy word-blurter. Seriously!” But despite my lack of tact and subtlety, God was pleased to plant the seed of friendship in someone—my now bestie, Melody. She told me later that when I said I needed a friend, she instantly thought, “It’s me! Pick me!”. God bless her for answering my random, regrettable outburst with an invitation to hang out. So, while I clearly I’m not the best at it, I want to sing the praises of just putting yourself out there. It’s totally worth it! I really believe that we were made to do this life together, to live out the good news of Christ TOGETHER in close relationships. And if I can find true friends who know me fully and still love me, you can too.
This is the central idea of our verse.
We can experience the joy of sharing our faith and life with others. Don’t you see it in our verse? “Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.” This is the DELIGHT that’s on offer for us: sharing our lives with other believers. These are the deep and lasting friendships that we truly long for—friendships where we can be our true selves. We long for friends who will lift us up when we’re down, make us laugh until our faces hurt, and call us back when we stray. Let me tell you from experience, you need friends like this—people comfortable enough to invite themselves over, or call without texting first, or show up with Starbucks when you're sad. You need friends to share not just your faith with, but your life as well. You need it, and I do too. We need people to walk with us on this long road and pick us up when we stumble. And because they live real life with us, when they share gospel truth with us, we hear them the loudest. Their words mean the most, because they mean the most. This is gospel life, lived together. I want that! Don’t you?
ON THE PODCASTMeet our May guest, Melissa Kruger! Join us on the podcast as we talk about what the word "gospel" means, and why Melissa is so passionate about the Word of God.
Living Out Our Faith Together // Melissa Kruger on The Dwell Differently Podcast
(CONTINUED FROM ABOVE)
But what if we get burned?
I know, I know. I’ve been burned too. I’ve put myself out there only to be rejected too many times. I’ve been vulnerable and then gotten hurt. But because I know the joy of real community, I’m committed to dusting myself off and trying again. I promise you this: one true friend is worth a hundred friendship fails. I’ve spent too many years avoiding deep friendships for fear of rejection. I’ve held friends at arms length without opening up and letting them in. I’ve tried to protect my heart for fear that someone might break it. But let me tell you something, that heart we’re trying to protect will only shrivel up from loneliness if we never let anyone in. Instead, when we find someone we are truly drawn to, we can take a chance and reach out to them. And if they respond in kind, it’ll be our deep delight to share life with them.
Jesus can relate.
Jesus isn’t calling you to do something he hasn’t already done. He knows what it feels like to put himself out there and get burned. He really loved his friends, so much that he gave up his life for them. But those same friends abandoned and denied him in his darkest hour. Yet mysteriously, he chose not to protect himself, but put himself out there. He knew full well the price he would pay for his friends, and for us, yet he did it anyway. This is the greatest love. The kind of love that will season the storm for us. This is the friendship Jesus not only displayed but offers us. Despite our rejection and denial, our running away, he holds out his friendship all the same. And if we embrace him, he is our truest Friend, who knows us fully and loves us even still.
And that is the most beautiful thing.
Isn't it? When Jesus is our truest friend, we’re free to put ourselves out there. Because Jesus fully loves and accepts us, we don’t have to fear rejection. Because he will never leave us or forsake us, we don’t have to fear abandonment from others. We can be secure in the unwavering, unfailing friendship of Jesus. And from that place, we can love others like Jesus loves us. We can offer our friendship with abandon. We can be the kind of friend we want to have. We can love others so much that we are delighted to share not only the gospel of God with them, but our lives as well. And the truth is, when we are that kind of friend to someone, they become that kind of friend to us.
WHAT'S HOLDING YOU BACK FROM PUTTING YOURSELF OUT THERE?
HOW DOES FRIENDSHIP WITH JESUS GIVE YOU CONFIDENCE TO DO SO?
Thanks for reading,
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