Over the summer at Redemption Church, we decided to take a focused look at a few selected Proverbs. This week we learned a few things about what Solomon has to say about the ever so important subject and experience of Friendship..
Friendship is a gift that God has given to humanity and obviously isn’t something unique to the Church alone. Regardless of faith, age, race, gender, and so on – the gift of friendship is available to be had by all human beings. It is something so real, so beautiful, so powerful that we will sing our hearts out over it. Just notice these few songs about friendship.
Friendship is Common Grace
"I Get By With a Little Help from my Friends" - The Beatles
"We Are gonna be Friends" by the White Stripes
"You’ve Got A Friend in Me" -Randy Newman
"Lean on Me" - Bill Withers
"That’s What Friends Are For" by Dionne Warwick, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Night
"I’ll Be There" - Jackson Five
And on and on it goes…
The subject of friendship is especially precious to Jana and I as we spent the last year out of full time vocational ministry and became extremely focused on ourselves as individuals and as a couple. We needed to take a year out of the pastorate and push back from the world of serving Jesus frantically as Martha and find the space to sit down as Mary at his feet and simply learn from him (Luke 10:38-42).
“All of our wealth is in our relationships.”
So to get to the point of this post: If you’re measuring your wealth strictly by your paycheck, your accomplishments, your accolades, your degrees, your looks, your vacations your 401k’s, your toys… I hate to break it to you but you’re actually using the wrong measuring stick for defining wealth.
You see, you were designed for far more than the mere accumulation of things and experiences.
I’m not saying that having things is wrong. It isn’t. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t be ambitious, take risks, and really push ourselves. We should. Those things are all important. However, you weren’t designed only for those things.
You were designed to know others and be known.
You were designed for friendship with God, friendship with yourself, and friendship with others.
For Jana and I, we have resolved that all of our wealth is in our relationships.
You see, at the end our lives we aren’t going to be thinking about that corner office, how much money we had, or the square footage of our home.
We aren’t going to be thinking about that vacation, that car we drove, or that boat.
We’re not going to be thinking about the pool, the landscaping, or our GPA.
We’re not going to be thinking about the extra 5 pounds we just couldn’t lose, the wrinkled skin, or the designer jeans we could never afford.
In the end, by God’s grace, we will have sober minds and...
We will be thinking of the people we shared our lives with. Those who took long walks with us and shared in our fears or pain.
We’ll be thinking of the people who were just as happy to have split pea soup and Sprite as to have a seared medium rare filet and a glass of Malbec with us.
We’ll be thinking about the people we shared our lives with.
Chef Mario Batali said it as good as anyone:
“My last meal? The food would be much less significant than the company.”