Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Counsel of Godly Friends

You don't need close friends to find godly counsel. However, our best godly counsel comes from close godly friends.

David suggests that we need to have godly brothers and sisters in the faith that we can go to from whom we can seek godly counsel when we need it.

I get similar advice from other sources. The book on boundaries that I am reading says that making close friends is a responsibility we have. The problem I have with this is the reality that we cannot force anyone to be our friend. In fact, even the Bible indicates that we should not be friends with some people (Proverbs 22:24, 2 Corinthians 6:14). I've known people who are so socially backwards that there's no one who would or even could be their friend. If you are such a person, how do you make friends if you don't have a friend to teach you? That's where you need to find godly counsel who isn't necessarily your friend.

Even if you are socially acceptable, that still doesn't mean that you will be able to develop friendships. It is possible that no one will want to be your friend, close or not. In this case, it is important that you pray about it. God has a way of answering prayers. Even if He doesn't answer immediately in the affirmative, He can bring you to the point where you can function without friends according to His purpose for you. And to this end, if you are praying with a right heart, your will is bending to the will of God and He can use your loneliness to His glory.

Here's something else I notice about what David says here. It's important to understand that a close friend is someone who is willing to tell you the truth about yourself no matter how badly it hurts. If you seek godly counsel, you don't need someone who will simply agree with you. You need a someone who has the type of relationship with you where they can tell you the truth in love without doubting each other's motives.

Next: What is a Godly Friend?

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