(This was originally posted on June 4, 2019)
We had a great Men’s Event a couple of weeks ago at my church. Every Man Needs a Wingman was the theme - we ate a ton of wings from Buffalo Wild Wings (550 were ordered for the event!) and had a good conversation about godly friendships.
In the discussion, I listed out 5 benefits of friendship. I thought I would share those benefits with the WARBC family as well.
I should also add that Drew Hunter’s book, Made for Friendship, was beneficial to me in preparing the discussion. One particularly helpful insight was that the first problem God solved was not the sin problem, but the problem of solitude.
The reality is that God designed us for friendships. Since God is good, friendships must be for our good. What are some benefits of friendship? Let's start with one from the 19th-century English theologian, J.C. Ryle:
"This world is full of sorrow because it is full of sin. It is a dark place. It is a Longley place. It is a disappointing place. The brightest sunbeam in it is a friend. Friendship halves our troubles and doubles our joys."
When we invest in friendships, we get double the joy and half of the sorrow because we have others to bear our sorrows with us and we can rejoice with our brothers. This aligns with the Apostle Paul’s admonition to weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice (Romans 12:15).
Some other verse that supports Ryle's benefit of friendship:
Proverbs 12:25– Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.
Philippians 4:14– Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble.
Philippians 2:2– complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.
Whose burden are you helping carry? Do you have a friend who is helping you? Who are you rejoicing with?
Godly friendships should half the sorrows and double the joy.