Be Kind To One Another
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32
Friendship has been forefront of my mind this week. We unexpectedly lost a sister in Christ this week who frequented our sanctuary. As the family processed through the reality of the logistics before them, a comment from the grieving son shook my soul. After expressing unsureness about a service, “She didn’t have many friends”.
Researchers report the ever-present reality of loneliness in our culture. While there is much debate regarding its primary cause, there is little doubt that it results in disarray and pain within our communities, churches, and personal lives too. I speak with many who attest to living these truths. Many feel similarly even within the Church House of God.
How do you compare with the findings?
- Women typically have 2-3 friends.
- Men have perhaps 1 friend. Maybe.
- Most friendships originate in the workplace, via other friends, or in the neighborhood.
- Friendships are chosen based upon similarities; Opposites do not attract.
- Evangelicals have few friends unlike themselves.
- Church is often not where God’s children find their closest friends.
While we cannot know for sure whether our sister truly felt lonely, or had many friends or few, we can be certain that every single member, and guest too, of Audubon are precious in the eyes of Jesus and they must be so with us as well.
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16
What amazing love! While it may be difficult to foster solutions for loneliness in the community, we can start this very week by being friends, genuine friends, with one another in His House. We can find ways to build that next relationship with someone sitting in our vicinity, singing to the same Lord, needing a warm hug and encouragement.
Together, we learned great spiritual truths as we worked our way through Ephesians 4. We’ve learned of gifts given to the Church, a call to unity, a call to growth and togetherness, exhortations to throw off that Old Self and put on the New. Remarkable and challenging.
Yet, how does the Apostle Paul conclude this beautiful section of Scripture? “Be kind to one another”. When all else is said, we are told to be kind to one another. Some might say, to be good friends. This is the picture that our culture desperately needs to see from the Church. May it be so for those that are watching. And may it be so for those of us sitting in our pews too.
Let’s be friends!