Genuine Friends

Friends having fun

by Aaron More - All the time I hear the statement “all you need is God.” It sounds really spiritual, but is it true? In the book of Genesis, we read that Adam was living in the Garden of Eden. Everything that God had created was good and Adam had fellowship with God that was yet to be tainted by sin. However, in the midst of this utopia something was missing, and God makes a statement that many men still need to hear, “It is not good for man to be alone”. With this statement God reveals that we may primarily be created for relationship with Him, but we also have a secondary need for relationship with one another, and unless both these needs are met, we will be left feeling alone.

When Adam and Eve sinned the first impact was that they had broken their relationship with God. However, we don’t have to turn too many pages to find that relationship also broke down with one another, evidenced through Cain murdering his brother Abel. Sin is the ultimate relationship destroyer. It makes sense then, that the redemptive work of Christ was first to restore relationship with God and then to restore relationship with one another. God’s will for us as men is that we have a strong relationship with Christ and strong friendships with our wife and other Christian men.

The tragedy is that as men we often ignore the need for friendship and instead end up in a place of isolation. One of the main causes for this is that we think if others saw who we really are and the things we struggle with then they would reject us. So, we decide that we will distance ourselves so we don’t have to face the pain of rejection. The ironic thing is that 1 Corinthians 10:13 tells us the temptations we face are common to all men. This means if you are struggling in an area, chances are the other men around you are either struggling with the same thing or have done so in the past. The shame and subsequent isolation are keeping us from the very people who would understand and be able to support us through life’s trials. When we allow our busyness, insecurities and sin to separate us from one another everything may appear ok on the outside, but our inner life will experience the reality that “it is not good for man to be alone”.

The truth is that none of us will become all that God wants us to be if we try and live the Christian walk in isolation. We need friendships with other Christian men that extend beyond talking about rugby and fishing. Friendships where we can encourage each other, confess our sins to one another, pray for one another and journey through life together. When we make a decision to have meaningful friendships with other trustworthy Christian men, we will find that shame will be broken off our lives because authenticity always defeats shame.

If you are reading this and you don’t have at least two Christian brothers who you can talk to about the serious issues of life, then you need to make a decision today that you are no longer going to live in isolation. Ask God to help you find the right people, and when you find them, commit to building a friendship that goes past the superficial. You will find that committing to such friendships will bless you in more ways than you would have ever imagined and will help see God’s will released in your life.

Remember, it is not good for man to be alone!

Much grace
Aaron More

Aaron More is the Pastor at Alexandra Elim Church in Central Otago. Aaron served on the PK team for several years as the leader of PK’s Transition events.