Demonstrate authentic love
Ron Channell, senior pastor, Family Church of Lawrence, 1601 New Hampshire St.:
Godly relationships are characterized by the demonstration of authentic love. “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Love will last forever!” (I Corinthians 13:4-8).
Godly relationships bring delight and joy and a sense of ease to your day; they nourish instead of drain you. Therefore, the only way we can build godly relationships is by having Jesus at the center of our lives. He said, “I have come to give life and give it abundantly” (John 10:10). Through a personal relationship with Christ, we immediately have access to godly expressions of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). Without Christ, those attributes become volatile, based on spontaneous circumstances that trigger our emotions.
Society says, “Look out for number one. Make yourself happy.” But the Bible implores us to put other’s needs above our own. This is not self-degradation. This is being Christ-like. “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:46).
In addition, when building godly relationships, healing occurs and strength and unity are built as people pray and confess their errors and short-comings to one another.
The prayers of righteous people are powerful and effective (James 5:16). These steps are action steps of love and we model Jesus when we apply them. “We love because he first loved us” (I John 4:19).
— Send email to Ron Channell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support, love, trust one another
The Rev. Gary O’Flannagan, pastor, Cornerstone Southern Baptist Church, 802 W. 22nd St.:
What is a friend? A friend is someone who supports another person. Friendship implies empathy, fondness and a sense of community. In the Bible Proverbs 17:17 (NIV) says, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity,” so godly friendship has a significant element of commitment in the relationship.
Even the best relationships go through difficult times, therefore trust and loyalty are necessary or the relationship is simply a polite acquaintance. A godly friendship is unique; few people have many if any godly friendships. A godly friendship will more often than not take time to develop; it can’t be forced so it takes patience. It also requires a sense of tolerance, as godly friends will put up with aspects of each other they might not with other people. I believe God puts us in this kind of relationship for the purpose of building each other up and helping each other become what God intended them to be.
The Bible describes a unique and godly friendship between David and Jonathan. David had married Jonathan’s sister, which is how they came to know each other. Jonathan was so loyal to David, he defied his father Saul, who hated David, by warning David when Saul was planning to have him killed.
Godly friendships are very special, they should be valued, nurtured and enjoyed as a gift and a blessing from God, they are a support system in difficult times, and they can enrich our lives far beyond what we can do by ourselves.
Ecclesiastes 4:10 (NIV) says, “If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!”
If you have a relationship like I’ve described above, you are blessed and you are probably a blessing to them.
— Send email to Gary O’Flannagan at email@example.com.