So great to be back at The Water’s Edge after my sabbatical. Here is yesterday’s sermon about my week as a comedian in New York City and what I learned about friendship. The video is at the bottom of this page.
1. Friends give constructive criticism.
Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. -Ephesians 4:15
Constructive criticism is offering well-thought-out feedback to another. The tone is friendly and loving and not oppositional.
Sometimes the best things for us are the things we don’t like.
Let me really feel my nothingness, not in order to despair over it, but in order to feel more powerfully the greatness of Your goodness.
2. Friends Give Constructive Encouragement
So encourage each other and build each other up. -1 Thessalonians 5:11
You have this amazing opportunity in front of you to keep people going.
Audit the words you speak.
When you criticize others – is it gentle and loving and for the purpose of making them better?
Or when you criticize others – it is harsh and mean-spirited for the purpose of making you feel better and them feel worse
Are you intentionally using inspiring words to add value to others?
Do your words show that you take others for granted or do your words express your gratitude for others?
3. Friends are not like you and that’s a good thing
He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love. -Ephesians 4:16
The one who is different from us does not threaten us or make us worse. Others enrich us and make us better.
4. Friends Make the Undoable Doable
10 So Joshua did what Moses had commanded and fought the army of Amalek. Meanwhile, Moses, Aaron, and Hur climbed to the top of a nearby hill. 11 As long as Moses held up the staff in his hand, the Israelites had the advantage. But whenever he dropped his hand, the Amalekites gained the advantage. 12 Moses’ arms soon became so tired he could no longer hold them up. So Aaron and Hur found a stone for him to sit on. Then they stood on each side of Moses, holding up his hands. So his hands held steady until sunset. 13 As a result, Joshua overwhelmed the army of Amalek in battle. -Exodus 17:10-13
5. Friends Divide Our Troubles
Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. -Galatians 6:2
6. Friends Multiply Our Joy
They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity. -Acts 2:46
I want you to think about some of the happiest moments of your life. Do you know what they all most likely have in common? They involve other people.