The connection between friendship and God’s character, as shown through God’s big story.
Friendship is a reflection of the character of God.
We start the month with something Jesus said in John 13:34, I give you a new command. Love one another. You must love one another, just as I have loved you, (NIrV). Along with that, we’ll take a look at one of the most famous friendships in the entire Bible: David and Jonathan. These guys went through a lot together. From making a promise to help each other and escaping the dangers of Jonathan’s own father, King Saul. They showed us exactly what it meant for friends to love each other.
Bottom Line: Friends love one another. Loving our friends often means putting aside what we want to give our friends what they need. We pray that kids will learn how they can show love to their friends in every day situations at home and school.
In Romans 15:7, Paul writes, Christ has accepted you. So accept one another in order to bring praise to God, (NIrV). We see this played out perfectly through Paul and Barnabas. Paul had a well-deserved terrible reputation among Jesus followers. But after his encounter with Jesus, Paul changed. Barnabas believed that about Paul, accepted him, and stood up for him as he introduced Paul to the rest of the apostles.
Bottom Line: Friends accept one another. We pray that kids start to realize that regardless of how people dress, what they own, or are able to do, we are called to accept them and show them how much God loves them with our friendship.
We’ve talked about loving and accepting our friends, but what happens when our friends hurt us? In Colossians 3:13, Paul writes, Put up with one another. Forgive one another if you are holding something against someone. Forgive, just as the Lord forgave you, (NIrV). Towards the end of the book of John we see forgiveness through Jesus and Peter’s relationship. After denying Jesus three times, Peter was feeling guilty and ashamed. But Jesus still had plans for Peter. Jesus forgave Peter and restored the broken friendship. And when we put our faith in Jesus, He offers us that same forgiveness. In turn, we can offer forgiveness to others.
Bottom Line: Friends forgive one another. While it’s true that people will do things that hurt us, we need to be willing to let it go and forgive because God forgave us first.
We close out the month with something Paul said in 1 Thessalonians 5:11, So encourage one another with the hope you have. Build each other up. In fact, that’s what you are doing, (NIrV). When Job experienced trial after trial, his friends decided to help. They didn’t bring meals or tell jokes. Rather, they came along side and grieved with Job. Now, we find out they didn’t always get it right, but for that first week, they let Job know that they were there for him.
Bottom Line: Friends encourage one another. Kids might not always know what to say or do when it comes to helping cheer up their friends. We pray they discover that they can encourage each other even if it simply means being a shoulder to lean on.