Friendship: A Needed Blessing

Side by Side: Walking with Others in Wisdom and Love Good, solid friendships are blessings from God.  But it’s not always easy to find a good friend or be a good friend.  What can we do to be a friend who truly loves, cares about, and encourages others?  Ed Welch’s book Side By Side is a help in this area.  Here’s an excellent summary section about “ordinary steps” of friendship.

  • We greet them.

  • We have short but meaningful conversations.

  • We gradually discover what is important to them.

  • We begin to pray for them.

  • We see the good. We like them. We enjoy them.

  • We have longer conversations.

  • We continue to pray for them.

“These ordinary steps are reminders of how to be a friend rather than profound insights about helping.  We all can do them.  They are easy and ordinary.

The risk is that their very ordinariness might cause us to judge them as second-rate ways to care for one another.  But the truth is that following these steps is powerful enough to reach into our souls.  When people have practiced just one or two of these steps on us, they have left their mark.  That’s because every step has the imprint of Jesus, so you can be sure that each one will be fruitful.”

After these insights Welch talks about how good relationships lead to helping one another through the struggles and sins in life.  Perhaps I’ll come back to that topic later, but for now I just wanted to highlight a helpful Christian resource on friendship.  Since a major part of the Christian walk is to love others, we should always seek to grow in our love for others.  This book will help in that area.

Ed Welch, Side By Side (Wheaton: Crossway, 2015), 101.

Shane Lems

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