Encounter: There are many scriptures and stories in scripture that help us understand how important friendship is and even describes the characteristics of what that looks like. Read James 2:23 and think about what it must have been like for Abraham to be called God's friend. And now the invitation comes to you. Read John 15:13-15, what is it like for you to look in the mirror and say, "I am a friend of God." What do you think James 4:4 means when it talks about being a friend of the world makes you an enemy of God.
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Reflect: When you think about friendship how does Matthew 7:16-20 help to understand how friendships can be life giving or they can be not so healthy for our lives. Think about the many friends you have made over the years. How did you determine who would be your friend? How would you describe your friendships today? What do you look for in friendships.
Spiritual Practice: Choose 2 or 3 people that you presently have a friendship with and think of ways to cultivate a more intentional relationship with them. Maybe writing a letter or email, going to dinner, sending a card, spending some time talking about how things are going in your life. The key to genuine relationships is the presence of safety and grace.
Gather: Kaleigh shared two questions that help us understand the helpful qualities of friendships in our lives. Do you experience support? Do you experience being challenged? Discuss with your group how you see those two things in your own friendships. Is it difficult for you to be challenged by a friend? Why or why not?