Theme of the Week: Get Real: The Key to Genuine Friendship
Friday, May 23, 2014
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Key Bible Verse: Dear friends, let's love each other, because love is from God, and everyone who loves is born from God and knows God. (1 John 4:7, CEB)
Dig Deeper: 1 Corinthians 13:1-7
The word transparency basically means "nothing hidden." In a transparent friendship everything is clear and out in the open. Of course, for that to happen there must be unquestionable trust and unwavering confidence in the friendship.
Author Gary Smalley, in his book The DNA of Relationships, has written at length about the "fear dance" that characterizes so many relationships. What he means is that each person involved has some level of fear, and that each party tends to act or speak in ways that "push the fear buttons" in one another, causing relational strain instead of strength. Fear proves a lack of trust. If you are afraid of a person or fearful in a friendship, that's a danger sign. It means you do not have the trust needed for an authentic relationship. For great relationships to form, people must reach the point where they trust each other implicitly, and that can only happen when everyone involved is being real.
Transparency and realness often produce a type of confidence that will fear-proof a friendship. If someone has been absolutely transparent with me, fear will find no place to rear its ugly head. And when fear is locked out genuine friendship is allowed to thrive.
—Van Moody in The People Factor
My Response: What would it take to build greater trust with one or two close friends? With the guys in my men's group or small group?
Thought to Apply: Oh, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person; having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but to pour them all out, just as they are.—George Eliot (British writer)
Adapted from The People Factor by Van Moody (Thomas Nelson, 2014) by permission. All rights reserved by the copyright holder and/or the publisher. May not be reproduced.
Copyright © 2014 by Christianity Today/Men of Integrity magazine. Click here for reprint information on Men of Integrity.
Prayer for the Week
Heavenly Father, impress upon me the need to have genuine friendships with a few trustworthy Christian guys. Show me how to relate to them man-to-man in ways that foster honesty, build community, and promote personal growth.
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