Presentation on theme: "Friendships: Parting Ways for Spiritual Reasons. A Box of Friendship."— Presentation transcript:
Friendships: Parting Ways for Spiritual Reasons
A Box of Friendship
Good friendships are built with respect, trust, truthfulness, courtesy, honesty, understanding, sympathy, joy, love, and a shared passion.
There can be no greater shared passion than a love for Christ and the hope of heaven.
Things that might cause friends to separate for spiritual reasons: Weights Unhealthy dialogue Mistrust Compromise Temptation Sin
Scenario: Two women are best friends. One is married and has children. The other is married and has no children. The two love traveling together and frequently have ventures to other cities. The Christian mother begins to question the length of time away from her family and church. What should she do?
Scenario: A Christian lady and her friend love to play card games. However, card night becomes sacred, and more frequent. She knows there are good works she could do, but game nights with her friend are such fun. What should she do?
Scenario: A Christian lady and her friend share a passion for shopping. Their shopping trips have been a great source of enjoyment. However, they spend more and more time at the Mall, or outlets. Shopping becomes the primary focus and passion. Her friend will never give it up. What should she do?
In each case, the women are involved in activities that, in and of themselves, are not wrong. But they gradually become weights that draw their focus and energy away from the Christian race.
Weights can become sin! Scripture tells us to lay aside every weight that easily ensnares us (Hebrews 12:1).
Scenario: Two women have a good working friendship. They share common interests (like crafts, teaching, or creating lively bulletin boards). But increasingly one woman realizes that the other woman is apt to talk in very negative ways, complaining about ‘this or that’ or about ‘him or her,’ until she, too, begins grumbling. What should she do?
“…Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness…these are grumblers, malcontents…” Jude vs
Paul admonished Christians, “Do all things without grumbling or questioning” Philippians 2:14
Scenario: Unable to sort through a difficult situation, a woman confides in her friend. Later she finds that the friend told one or two others about the matter. She feels wounded and betrayed. What should she do?
“Whoever covers an offense seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates close friends” Proverbs 17:9
Along with keeping confidences, qualities like truthfulness, courtesy, and honesty are key ingredients that build trust in a friend.
“Now Paul and his companions set sail from Paphos and came to Perga in Pamphylia. And John left them and returned to Jerusalem.” Acts 13:13
“Now Barnabas wanted to take with them John called Mark. But Paul thought best not to take with them one who had withdrawn from them in Pamphylia and had not gone with them to the work.” Acts 15:36-41
“And there arose a sharp disagreement, so that they separated from each other. Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus, but Paul chose Silas and departed.”
When there is seemingly no resolution in a matter, the best course may be that friends part peacefully and work separately.
Scenario: A preacher and his wife become friends with a coworker and his wife. The coworker engages in an unethical practice and talks openly about it when they have couples’ night out. What should they do?
Scenario: A group of Christian couples meet regularly and value their friendship. But one couple is concerned about unChristlike gossip/slander during the get-togethers. The group (4-5 couples) considers this behavior normal. What should the couple do?
One cannot straddle the fence between good and evil, because Satan owns the fence.
All too often unethical behavior, gossip, and slander are ignored among friends.
“They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness…They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful… faithless, heartless, ruthless.”
“Though they know God's decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.” Romans 1:29-32
Scenario: A woman enjoys the blessings of friendship with another woman, until her friend asks her to “cover” for her, or stretch the truth about a matter. What should she do?
Scenario: Two women are friends. One is a Christian, and one is not. But lately, the Christian woman has become entangled in her friend’s social nightlife. What should she do?
Nothing is hidden from God’s eyes. Ps. 33:13
“Each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed” James 1:14
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” James 4:7
“Abstain from every form of evil.” 1 Thess. 5:22
Scenario: Several Christian couples are steadfast friends, until the husband of one couple becomes attracted to the wife of another couple. What should they do?
Scenario: Two women are good friends. One confides in the other that she began talking to an old boyfriend, and recently went to ‘visit’ him. What should her friend do?
“When desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death” James 1:15
Sin separates friends, but more importantly, sin separates one from God. Isaiah 59:2
“if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness” Galatians 6:1
If a friendship is threatened with weights, unhealthy dialogue, mistrust, compromise, temptation, or sin, it is time for an assessment.
Loyalty and emotion should not guide our actions.
God should be our guide in all things, especially the maintenance and care of our very special box of friendship.