Dear Ministry Partner,
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.”
If you encounter a crisis at three o’clock in the morning, who, apart from your immediate family members, would you call?
In the world of Facebook and LinkedIn, we have many friends but few good friends to share our life’s journey with. Friendships take time and intentionality to cultivate.
Our personal temperaments may differ but we have the same fundamental need to be deeply connected with other human beings. We all longed to know and be known.
The Christian life flourishes in community and not in isolation. In every season of our lives, we need friends with whom we can grow and mature. We need friends who can be honest with us, fight for our hearts and hold us accountable for our Christian faith and conduct. Trusted friends are safe havens for us to share our struggles and musings without the fear of being judged.
Our lives are richer when we share them with others and learn from their experiences. We struggle alone when we are afraid to share our inner fears and problems. However, when we take the courage to share, our joys are doubled, sorrows are halved and wounds are soothed. Lies we believe in are exposed. We discover we are not alone in our struggles. Ultimately, we experience great delight in having fellow pilgrims walk with and support us in our journey.
Good friends are God’s gifts to us, just as we are God’s gifts to them. In the midst of enjoying their company, we must treasure and invest in them. Some will become lifelong friends, while others will move on when certain life seasons come to an end.
In his book “3-2-1: Following Christ in Threes”, author and speaker Tan Soo Inn gives us a simple and practical model for spiritual friendships – the “3-2-1 triad”. This involves three friends meeting for two hours once a month to share about their walk with God, work and lives. These conversations help us connect at a deeper level as we share in a safe environment. In the process, we will discover that journeying with others is life-giving and satisfies our longing for kindred friendships.
The journey ahead need not be lonely. Take the initiative to invite someone out for a meal or coffee.
Lam Kok Hiang