Today, commit to pray. We so often inadvertently dismiss prayer. How many times have you faced hardship in your life, only to look back and realize that you never prayed in the midst of the trial? I know that has been a frequent occurrence in my life. I am not proud of that fact, but it remains true. How I wish that my first response to the pressures of this life was prayer!
Today’s assignment is to pray specifically for the three people in your “Day 4” list. If you need a refresher, Here is a link to day 4’s video and blog.
In short, the three people you are to pray for today are friends. One friend who is incredibly close to you, one who you would consider a “good friend,” and one who has crossed the line from acquaintance to friendship.
Take stock of these relationships. Have they grown? Have you drifted apart? Ask yourself some tough questions such as the following to jog your creativity for engaging with these three people.
- How has schedule and availability limited or encouraged my relationship with these people?
- In what ways have they seen me intentionally pursue a deeper friendship with them?
- Do these people act the way that I want to act in 5 years?
- Is there a balance in these relationships between needing help and being helpful? Or are they one-sided in that regard?
- Does extended interaction with these people grow my faith in Christ?
I hope that answering those questions honestly can leave you feeling encouraged. If not, don’t panic. Remember that relationships are in constant movement. If you need to remove or replace someone from your list, you have permission, and they never have to know. You, however, must continue to persistently approach these relationships with intentionality.
Last week, I had a conversation with someone who felt like they are floundering in their relationships within the church. I encouraged her to, “Be the thing you need.” To be generous, loyal, and encouraging. This is good advice for building relationships in general. It is a long and hard road, but most of the time, it is the right path.
After reflecting on our conversation, I realized that I missed something. Her biggest problem was that she didn’t want to become like her new friends. Remember this, dear reader: You may be able to help someone. You might even be able to help three someones, but you will never be able to help everyone.
There comes a point where mentors and peers need to fill significant places in our relational lives. It may be difficult to break from the comfortable, unhealthy relationships, but in order to build a community culture, you may have to.
Pray fervently over your list. Make moves if you must, and continue to fight for a better community in your church every day.