Many of your current friendships exist because of proximity. You grew up with them, or you’re around them every day at school. Because of the time spent together, you discovered similar interests. You will remain friends as long as those interests align and you are traveling in the same direction. These friendships begin to sink as differing interests emerge. Some friends become more interested in sports, while you might be more interested in drama. Naturally, you begin to drift.
One important key when determining who we should allow to become our CLOSE friends is their relationship with Jesus. We know that our friends will influence us with their interests. I’ve seen many young people let their relationship with God fall away because they were more interested in impressing their non-christian friends than impressing God. If the direction you are hoping to go in life is toward a deeper relationship with God, then it is essential that those closest to you are going the same direction. This doesn’t mean we don’t have friendships with non-Christians, only that we guard who has the greatest influence in our lives.
SHIP SINKER #4: Weather
Storms sink ships. In relationships, I have found the storms most deadly are emotional storms. As we get older our range of emotions increase and intensify. We don’t always know what we’re feeling or how to handle it. We must be careful as we are learning to navigate these new waters. If we are not, in moments of emotional uproar we can say or do things that damage and sometimes even destroy our friendships.
SHIP SINKER #5: Warfare
In video games, there is something incredibly fun about lining ships up with my cannons and aiming to sink the enemy vessel. In relationships, this isn’t as much fun, yet conflict and disagreements are unavoidable. Just so you know, we are not naturally skilled at handling and resolving conflict. It takes time, patience and understanding to work through conflict in a way that doesn’t create more hurt and anger. We will take a deeper look at conflict later in our Sinking Ships series
THINK ABOUT THIS:
- Think about where you want to go in life. Where do you want your relationship with God to be next year? Look at your current friends, do they want the same thing for their lives?
- Think about the people you admire the most. Are these people you spend time with? If not, why not?
PRAY: Lord, lead me into friendships that will help me grow closer to you and help me influence my friends in the same way.
Proverbs 13:20 (TPT) If you want to grow in wisdom, spend time with the wise. Walk with the wicked and you’ll eventually become just like them.
Proverbs 18:24 (MSG) Friends come and friends go, but a true friend sticks by you like family.
Colossians 1:17 (NLT) Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand.2 Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. 3 For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 And when Christ, who is your[a]life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.
5 So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. 6 Because of these sins, the anger of God is coming.[b] 7 You used to do these things when your life was still part of this world. 8 But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. 9 Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds. 10 Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him. 11 In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile,[c] circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized,[d] slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us.
12 Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.
16 Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. 17 And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.