Published on March 17, 2014
Talk 3: Real MaleTalk 3: Real Male FriendshipFriendship Building Each Other Up in Christ St. Athanasius Retreat 2013 Ehab Roufail
Real Male Friendship 2 OutlineOutline • What does it mean to be a friend to someone? • Friendship in the life of David and Jonathan • We have been chosen to be friends for one another • Duties of our friendships 7 Sept 2013
What does it mean to be a friend?What does it mean to be a friend? Let’s meet together •1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. •Hebrews 10:24-25 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. •Romans 14:19 So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding. 7 Sept 2013 Real male friendship 3
What does it mean to be a friend?What does it mean to be a friend? • Our first step for Christian growth showed that by attending the services of the church and encouraging others to attend, we grow as Christians. • The key passage to that lesson was Heb 10:25, where the writer eloquently stated: 25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another — and all the more as you see the Day approaching. • When people attend the services, they mutually build one another up in the faith. When they stay home, nothing happens. • growth. 7 Sept 2013 Real male friendship 4
What does it mean to be a friend?What does it mean to be a friend? • St. Paul expressed the purpose and meaning of the mutual edification of the church in Eph 4:14-16: • 14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. • When we speak the truth in love to one another, the body, the church, grows and builds itself up, as each part does its work. Every part of our worship contributes to this end, which is our second step to Christian growth. 7 Sept 2013 Real male friendship 5
What does it mean to be a friend?What does it mean to be a friend? Sharpening and training each other •Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. •Hebrews 3:13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. •Proverbs 27:17 Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. 7 Sept 2013 Real male friendship 6
What does it mean to be a friend?What does it mean to be a friend? Psalms and praises when we meet •Ephesians 5:19 Addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, •Romans 15:1-11 We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbour for his good, to build him up. For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.” •1 Corinthians 14:26 What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up. 7 Sept 2013 Real male friendship 7
David And Jonathan: Why not enemies?David And Jonathan: Why not enemies? • David who was "a man after God's own heart" (1 Sam 13:14), • and who courageously defeated Goliath (1 Sam 17)… • David and Jonathan - they should have been enemies • One of the most famous friendships of the Bible has to be that of David and Jonathan. When they met, David had been chosen by God to be the future king of the Israelites, but Jonathan's father (Saul) who was the king at the time, wanted to kill David. • However, Jonathan took a real liking to David. He made a promise to him, he loved him, he gave him presents and provided for him. He warned David about plots against him by his father, he spoke out for him to his father and he used his influence to keep him safe. 7 Sept 2013 Real male friendship 8
David and Jonathan: Self SacrificeDavid and Jonathan: Self Sacrifice • Friendship requires self-sacrifice • It’s not surprising that Jonathan was the main player in the relationship at first, because as the son of the king, he was the one with the power in this relationship. • But it is a power that he used for the good of his friend – and at a cost to himself. • Every time he kept David safe or promoted his interests, he was destroying his own chances of inheriting his father’s throne. • Jonathan’s friendship with David was at the cost of his own career and reputation! 7 Sept 2013 Real male friendship 9
David & Jonathan: LoyaltyDavid & Jonathan: Loyalty • Friendship requires loyalty • Jonathan was a friend with some pretty impressive qualities. His loyalty to David, and courage in the face of political pressure, and an angry, murderous father was unquestioned. He had the humility to say openly that he would never be king. He followed up his commitments, he was generous and he did it all ‘before the Lord’. He showed genuine affection, loyalty and openness. He was the friend everyone would love to have! • But David was not just a passive ‘taker’ in all of this either. As time went on their friendship grew so that by the end it was definitely a two-way relationship between equals. When the pair had to part, the story says that David ‘wept the most’. At Jonathan’s death, David showed immense grief.7 Sept 2013 Real male friendship 10
David & Jonathan: CommitmentDavid & Jonathan: Commitment • Friendship requires real commitment • One of the particularly beautiful aspects of this friendship was the way David and Jonathan promised to do good to each other’s family and descendents. • They knew that as technical rivals to the same throne, it was more than likely that their families and heirs could grow to hate each other and try to eliminate their opponents. They took steps to stop the cycle of rivalry and hate – and as time went on, it worked! • Jonathan and David’s friendship has a lot to teach us about power, self-sacrifice and loyalty. 7 Sept 2013 Real male friendship 11
David and Jonathan: Builds upDavid and Jonathan: Builds up • Everyone needs good Godly friendship, regardless of how close you think you are to Christ. • David needed Jonathan: "Jonathan ... strengthened [David's] hand in God" (1 Sam 23:16). • Godly friendship requires a conscious effort: "And Jonathan, Saul's son, rose, and went to David at Horesh, and strengthened his hand in God" (1 Sam 23:16) • What does it mean to strengthen each other in God? Jonathan did not just go to boost David's self- confidence, but to strengthen his dependence on God. 7 Sept 2013 Real male friendship 12
David & JonathanDavid & Jonathan • How do you treat your friends? • Most of us today are unlikely to be in a situation where we become best friends with our greatest rivals, but we may stand to lose status, money or power because of a friendship. Are we willing to put our friends first? • (M B Story??) 7 Sept 2013 Real male friendship 13
Chosen to be FriendsChosen to be Friends • “The righteous should choose his friends carefully, for the way of the wicked leads them astray.” - Proverbs 12:26 • The above verse reveals that God expects us to use godly wisdom and discernment in making friends. • Jesus had thousands of followers and hundreds of disciples, but He chose only twelve men to spend most of His time with. • And His “inner circle” consisted of only three men-- Peter, James, and John. • If the Son of God was so careful about who He chose as His close companions, shouldn't we be at least as careful? 7 Sept 2013 Real male friendship 14
Chosen firendsChosen firends • We have been chosen to be friends for one another: "A secret Master of the Ceremonies has been at work. Christ, who said to the disciples "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you," can truly say to every group of Christian friend. "You have not chosen one another but I have chosen you for one another."" (C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves) 7 Sept 2013 Real male friendship 15
Chosen Friends: BelieversChosen Friends: Believers • Amos 3:3 (NKJV) says, “Can two walk together unless they are agreed?” No, they can't. • That means that if we are walking with unbelievers, we are going to have to make some compromises to stay in relationship with them. And those compromises will come between us and God. • Proverbs 13:20 (NIV) says, “He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.” We see evidence of this truth all around us-- God's people who mistakenly believe that they can be in relationship with unbelievers without suffering the consequences. 7 Sept 2013 Real male friendship 16
Chosen Friends: Good influenceChosen Friends: Good influence • The apostle Paul wrote, “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.’” (1 Corinthians 15:33 NIV) • We like to think we are immune to the negative influences of wrong companionships, but the Lord knows otherwise, and that's why He has so much to say about this subject in His Word. 7 Sept 2013 Real male friendship 17
Chosen friends: BelieversChosen friends: Believers • In 2 Corinthians 6, Paul writes: “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers... What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever...? ‘Therefore, come out from them and be separate, says the Lord.’” (v.14,15,17 NIV) • God makes it clear that it's absolutely essential for our closest companions to be people who love the Lord. If they aren't, how can they hold us accountable as Christians? • Proverbs 27:6 (NKJV) says, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” Our real friends will correct us when we need it, while a false friend will only tell us what we want to hear, even if we're doing something wrong, and are headed for destruction. 7 Sept 2013 Real male friendship 18
Chosen friends: Deisre PopularityChosen friends: Deisre Popularity • For those who have a desire to be popular, God gives this warning in Proverbs 18:24 (NASB), “A man of many friends comes to ruin.” • If you don't have a lot of friends, don't despair. God's Word indicates that you may be even more blessed having only one or two close friends, than having more. 7 Sept 2013 Real male friendship 19
Chosen Friends: Fear the LordChosen Friends: Fear the Lord • So, what kind of friends does God want us to have? The psalmist tells us in Psalm 119:63 (NKJV), “I am a companion of all those who fear You, and of those who keep Your precepts.” • Our closest friends should love the Lord and seek to please Him. If your closest companions are not believers, you are out of God's will, and you need to seek the Lord and ask Him how to provide Godly friends closer than these. 7 Sept 2013 Real male friendship 20
Duties of FriendshipDuties of Friendship • Duties of our friendships – Bearing with one another: Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. (Col 3:12-14) – Encourage each other in our spiritual war to become partakers of Christ: "Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called "Today," lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end…" (Heb 3:12-14) 7 Sept 2013 Real male friendship 21
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