Yeah... today I fed my addiction. To be honest I gave in weeks ago... My books from Desiring God arrived; Battling Unbelief: Defeating Sin with Superior Pleasure and God is the Gospel. They will be good reads in the coming months (I first need to read for my Modern Christian Writers class). I trust that they will be edifying, as always John Piper is always gospel centered and preaches the message of grace.
I am going to be transparent. Not really a good thing on the internet. There is one thing that I really crave, and that is genuine fellowship that Christian brothers can have. When men can come together and share their struggles, encourage one another, cry with one another, running together.... doing things together and training together in this spiritual battle that we are in. My Christian Sisters, you are great and I love the fellowship that I have with each and everyone of you. We are all to war together, not against each other. But there comes a moment when the relationship that we each need is only fulfilled by relationships with our own gender. That is how God designed us. It is a known fact that 2 are better than 1, 10 are better than 6 in a battle. Because of the nature of Spiritual warfare we need each other.
What should relationships and friendships look like for a Christian??
(1) be Christ centered. I don't care if you are a democrat or a republican, I don't care. What I care about is if you love Jesus Christ and follow the ideals He set for us. The Gospel is for every single kind of person that exists on this planet. Look at the 12 disciples to see this. Simon was a zealot, a revolutionary... When we read of Simon think of a guy who wanted to change the world by force with his sword. On the other hand we have Matthew, this dude worked for the IRS of the Roman Empire! Peter went to trade school - he was a fisherman. It is clear that the gospel is for people of all classes, and the theme of Acts is that believing Gentiles are now saved as well. Look also at the sheer amount of believing women in the gospels and Acts.... the gospel is for women too... It is great!
(2) focus on Christ - when you do you will want to remove those things that distract you from being the man (or woman) that God wants you to be.
(3) have fun and enjoy the great gifts and pleasures that God has given us. God created a whole world full of tiny little things. (the Arts- music and movies, sports- basketball, soccer, etc., humor, cooking, you fill in the blank)
(4) be honest with each other. We need one another. I need you. I need someone's shoulder to cry on. Honesty is clearly a virtue that God desires and takes great pleasure in. Our lives are so much easier when we communicate clearly and are forthright with what is going on. God uses friends to sharpen us. As Iron sharpens Iron.... Honesty only aids us in our pursuit of holiness.
(5) Trust in God. David found it through the fellowship of God's Spirit at the deepest points of His life. While it is true that man will let you down, God will never. But the principle is still the same. We need to trust in men and open ourselves to critique and failure. Christ was betrayed by men and let down by those who were closest to Him. Jesus Christ can identify with us completely and knows exactly what we are going through.