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Strong Friendships: A Key to Spiritual Growth



Strong Friendships: A Key To Spiritual Growth

Friendship is a vital aspect of human existence, and in today’s world, finding true friends is becoming increasingly challenging. In a recent edition of the devotional, Open Heaven, Pastor E.A Adeboye provides insightful reflections on the significance of friendship in spiritual growth.

According to Proverbs 18:24, having friends requires showing oneself friendly. The passage emphasizes the value of healthy relationships, revealing that some friends can stick closer than family. Establishing connections with such individuals can profoundly impact one’s spiritual journey.

In the book of Samuel, we encounter the inspiring friendship between Jonathan and David. Their souls were knitted together, and Jonathan loved David as his own soul. Saul, recognizing the strength of their bond, prevented David from returning home, further solidifying their relationship. To seal their friendship, Jonathan symbolically stripped himself of his robe and bestowed it upon David, along with his garments, sword, bow, and girdle.

Acts 3:1 highlights the companionship of Peter and John. Although there were 120 people filled with the Holy Spirit, the Bible specifically mentions these two individuals. It is speculated that Peter and John were part of Jesus Christ‘s inner circle, a close-knit group that included James. The relationship between Peter and John, however, appeared to be exceptional even before the crucifixion.

John 13:21-26 recounts a profound incident during the last supper where Jesus announced that one of them would betray Him. Peter gestured to John, urging him to ask Jesus the identity of the betrayer. This act exemplifies the nature of a friend who seeks divine guidance on behalf of their companion. Moreover, their friendship continued to flourish after Jesus’ resurrection. In John 20:1-8, when Mary Magdalene informed the apostles about Jesus’ resurrection, Peter and John raced to the tomb. John, the author of the Gospel, frequently emphasizes how he outran Peter in reaching the tomb, an intriguing display of friendly competition rooted in their love for Jesus.

In a world filled with self-centeredness, competition, and individualism, finding friends who genuinely challenge us to pursue a deeper relationship with God is essential. Such individuals offer support during difficult times and provide honest guidance even when it may be uncomfortable to hear. Healthy competition within friendships encourages spiritual growth, as friends can motivate one another to engage in fervent prayer, immerse themselves in Scripture, and actively share the Gospel.

The importance of cultivating strong friendships should not be underestimated. Friendships built on a shared love for Jesus Christ serve as a catalyst for spiritual growth and development. As exemplified by the friendships of Jonathan and David and Peter and John, strong relationships are established on a foundation of faith. Therefore, let us strive to seek out friends who challenge us to draw closer to God and be willing to reciprocate that encouragement as well.

Rachel Adams

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