I Need Help – Friends Make the Difference
When you’re scared sometimes (as men), and you don’t know which way to go…
2 Samuel 10:12 AMPC
9 When Joab saw that the battlefront was against him before and behind, he picked some of all the choice men of Israel and put them in array against the Syrians.
10 The rest of the men Joab gave over to Abishai his brother, that he might put them in array against the Ammonites.
11 Joab said, If the Syrians are too strong for me, then you shall help me; but if the Ammonites are too strong for you, I will come and help you.
12 Be of good courage; let us play the man for our people and the cities of our God. And may the Lord do what seems good to Him.
With Your Brothers and the Lord, You Can Withstand Anything
I’m going to get personal here. There are brothers without whom I don’t know how well I would have made it out of these last few years.
Johnny – My Ace
This dude brings it: heart, compassion, drive (to worship), service, leadership…I could go on and on… I’ve needed his example, his support, his calls for and to give prayer. He’s kept me connected.
Niko – The Brute
Lol, my workout buddy. I can’t say “Beast” because I’m currently working toward that title! Ha! This dude is my man-at-arms. We’ve cried together, shared our hearts, and prayed for our leadership, wives, and church… We see each other. His compassion has served as a safe place for me to fall.
Brad – The Leader
Tears. I can’t put into words how much this relationship has meant to me. Never have I had such an ongoing opportunity and confidence to “lay my life open.” That means checking my thoughts and motives…constantly. He doesn’t “police” me or tell me “what to do,” but always lovingly (and sometimes directly when I need it, lol) redirecting me to Christ’s example on the cross (when I want to quit) and God’s Word. I couldn’t ask for better perspective from a leader/mentor in my life.
These are just a few examples. There are others, but my point is, my brothers help form a ring of protection around my mind and heart. They keep me from being deceived (they help) and they encourage me when I feel insecure, hurt, or broken.
Proverbs 4:23 NLT
Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.
Proverbs 27:17 NLT
As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.
Proverbs 11:14 KJV
Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.
Stay Close to Your Vital Connections
It’s quite literally life and death. Your whole manner of life is determined by who is in your inner circle.
1 Corinthians 15:33 NLT
Don’t be fooled by those who say such things, for “bad company corrupts good character.”
Those in my inner circle model Christ and push me toward a life with Him at the center. This accelerates, comforts, and guides me through the challenges I face in family, ministry, personally, career-wise, and beyond. Having a biblical perspective for our intimate friendships transforms our lives. That’s why church attendance (wherever God places you) is so crucial.
Hebrews 10:35 NLT
And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.
Proverbs 18:1-2 NKJV
18 A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire;
He rages against all wise judgment.
In this life we need encouragement. Don’t do life alone.
- Organize your friendships into two categories: those who take you closer to Christ and those who don’t. What decisions do you have to make?
- Distinguish whether you want the lifestyle of those in your inner circle. Do they have the fruit you want? Is it pleasing to God?
My Personal Case
Making my inner circle sacred (you have to take me closer to God) has been the decision outside marriage and my walk with God that has created the most impact. I don’t know if I’d even be alive…actually, I wouldn’t be. I’ve been near suicidal twice in my life. God saved me, but each time, He sent friends to help me recover, strengthen, achieve a new level of maturity/integrity, and become more the man God ordained me to be. I’m so thankful.