The Need For Christian Buddies
“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friend.” John 15:13
The Christian walk, while beautiful, can be difficult at times, especially when faced with the temptations of the world. Temptation is all around us and, although the Christian’s true desire shifts towards the Lord, he or she is not exempt from being pulled into the ways and attitudes of his surroundings. Those worldly desires one had prior to making Christ his or her Lord and Savior, doesn’t disappear and can rear their ugly heads at any moment. Most times, one can shake it off, but there are other times the desire is so strong one begins to justify giving in, thinking “Other people do it and nothing happens to them,” or “The Lord will forgive me.” This type of thinking is dangerous as it is written in James “Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God” and “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (4:4 and 4:7).
Recently, I was tempted to do something I knew went against God’s precepts. Standing at the precipice, I had a decision to make: Burn with the desire to do this sin, actually do the sin then repent or fight the temptation. I decided to fight, but the desire was very strong. I read Scripture. I thought on the things of God. Then, an old friend crossed my mind. She is an older woman and a Christian mentor who moved to another city. I called her. We hadn’t spoken in many months, yet when I heard her voice, it was if we had never been apart. We spoke for well over an hour, catching up. Her conversation is one that is never far from the Lord. Although I never told her of how close I came to backsliding, her conversation was sprinkled with enough Christian encouragement to keep me on the right track, at least for now. As we said our goodbyes, she thanked me for calling her, stating she really needed to hear from a friend.
We should never attempt to go it alone in our Christian walk. Just as it beneficial to have an exercise buddy or diet buddy, you know that someone who can encourage you to go to the gym or to resist that slice of cake, Christians need “buddies” to encourage them to resist the temptations of the world. Sometimes, laying down our lives for a friend does not mean we have to die for them. It can also mean helping them, listening or giving. Or, it can simply mean contacting someone and engaging in a spiritually healthy conversation that uplifts you both.