5 Affirmations of a Redemptive Friendship

A real redemptive friendship produces righteousness in one another. In a sermon given by my pastor this Sunday our church peered into the friendship of David and Jonathan. There friendship was the epitome of a healthy, godly and redemptive relationship.

Affirmation #1 – I will be there for you during times of hardship [1 Samuel 23:15-16], Hardship always reveals true friendship. If you are not there for a friend in a hard time you are not a redemptive friend. When Jonathan went to David he was taking a big risk [cf.20:31-33; Proverbs 17:17].

Affirmation #2 – I will help you to depend upon God and not me [23:16-17]. Jonathan strengthened Davids hand in God. He did not minimize the problem. He did not present himself as the answer to Davids problems. He simply points David to the promises of God. Are my friendships strong in Christ because of your friendship with them?

Affirmation #3 – I will seek to be a source of emotional stability for you. Redemptive friends are objective–they measure your words with and against the Scriptures. Redemptive friends do not reed sinful emotions through sympathy, but they help them to see and understand the truth.

Affirmation #4 – I will seek to be your loyal friend even when I lose. Jonathan knew the kingdom was not his. In a day and age when kings killed their competitors. Jonathan affirms his friend David by saying, “you shall be king and I will be next to you.” Jonathan says in essence, “David I will be your biggest supporter when you become the next king!” Jonathan loses the kingdom, but gains a redemptive friend and advocate. He is not really losing anything by obeying God.

Affirmation #5 – I will verbalize my commitment to you [23:18]. David and Jonathan seal their friendship with a ceremony. Like a marriage the ceremony is an important reminder before God as their witness.

Redemptive relationships are critical for spiritual growth in Christ. Do you have a redemptive friendship like this? Are you a redemptive friend like this? Is your church cultivating redemptive friendships like this?


This is a movie review:

The name Bella means beautiful.

As one watches this movie they find two characters whose lives are anything but beautiful. First, there is Jose is a scruffy character that hasn’t been the same since a tragic accident that ended his promising soccer career. He becomes the head chef at his brother’s fancy restaurant. People worry about Jose—especially his family.

Second, there is Nina, she is a waitress at that same restaurant. She is young, unmarried and discovers she is with child, but does not want to be pregnant. Her morning sickness and consecutive late arrivals to work get her fired. No one worries about Nina—except Jose.

Jose is drawn to the troubled woman and offers his help. She doesn’t want his help at first. Nina has decided that if her life is ever going to be normal again she must abort her little girl.

The movie follows these two characters one damaged by the past and the other afraid of the future. Beyond friendship and caring for others, abortion and adoption are the two big themes in Bella. It is interesting to note that the Bible talks a lot about adoption. Without a relationship with Christ we are all orphans without a Father. One of the most comforting passages is when Jesus promises, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” [Jn.14:18] He will never leave us or forsake us as a Father. And when we come to Him He adopts us into His family for all eternity [Romans 8:15-17; Gal.4:5],

True, there are no direct mentions of God in the movie, but one is given the strong impression that Nina is struggling with not just a physical and emotional decision, but also a spiritual one. At one point in Jose and Nina’s discussions about the baby, she asks him, “Do you think this is all there is?” Jose says, “My grandmother used to say, ‘If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.'” And as they walk the street of New York City they meet a blind man who’s sign reads, “God closed my eyes. Now I can see.”

Bella is an intelligent film that reminds one that you can be impacted by another person’s life, even save, by love and time.  There are threads of grace, faith, redemption and the sanctity of life woven into the fabric of the movie. The cast is not constructed with A-list stars or built on a multi-million dollar budget. Eduardo Verástegui, who is Jose and producer of the film, realizes his film will not bust box office numbers, but stated,

“This film is for the Ninas of the world. This film is not for the people who already agree that life is personal and has dignity. I want to touch the girls who come from broken families who don’t know anything about all these important issues—and next thing you know they find themselves pregnant and they think it’s fine to just go and have an abortion because that is what they have been taught. I want to reach them and embrace them and love them through the film and then by that they can choose what is best for them, which is to have their baby.”

In the end of this movie we truly see how beautiful life is.

I recommend Bella for any occasion.

a loyal friend

I had a great talk with my great friend this week. What would a brother do without him? Thank You, Ben.
How could I have landed such an amazing friend? You could never buy a friend as good as he nor be good enough to earn his loyalty. Howard Hughes, when worth about 4 billion dollars, said, “I’d give it all for one good friend.” Of loyal friends Poet Ralph Wald Emerson said, “the glory of friendship is not in the outstreched hand, not the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is in spiritual inspiration that comes to one when he discovers that someone else believes in him and is willing to trust him.”
A friend is a person with whom you dare to be yourself. Your soul can be naked with them. They ask you to put on nothing, only to be what you are. They do not want you to be better or worse. When you are with them, you feel as a prisoner feels who has been declared innocent. You do not have to be on your guard. You can say what you think, as long as it is genuinely you. A friend understands those contradictions in your nature that lead others to misjudge you. With them you breathe freely. You can share your little vanities and envies and hates and vicious sparks, your meannesses and absurdities which, disappear on the white ocean of their loyalty. They understand. You do not have to be careful. It makes no matter. They are like fire that purges to the bone. You can weep with them, sing with them, laugh with them, pray with them. A friend is a person with whom you dare to be yourself.
Praise God, for the path to great friends.