On Wednesday, April 10, Christine Hoover, a blogger/author from Virginia, spoke in chapel, and within her first sentence, I was thinking, “Oh, man, I really need to be taking notes.” I pulled out my notebook and knew this was going to be something I wanted to remember. Why’s that? Well, the title of her message was “Biblical Friendship” and over the past weekend, I almost lost some of my closest friends because of my own selfishness and personal agenda. It’s kind of embarrassing to say, but I was not a good friend, and the Lord greatly humbled me.
As I furiously scribbled down her words, I thought about how much I value friendship, but one of the first things Christine said was, “If you’re putting too much weight/pressure on something, then it’s becoming an idol.”
The past several years, people have been drilling into me how important the friends you make in college are.
“These will be your lifelong friends”
“Invest deeply into these people”
“These are the people you’ll invite to your wedding”
Etc, etc, etc
I had been talking to my mom a couple days prior to this chapel about concerns with my current group of friends. I didn’t feel like they were fulfilling something in my life. Had these people invested in my life? Were they helping me grow? Were they concerned about me at all? However, something Christine said right at the beginning really stuck with me, “We have to be secure in Christ before we can imitate God’s friendship with other people.” Had I been putting too much pressure on what my earthly friendships looked like that I completely lost sight of my heavenly friendship? I was overly concerned with the idea of good friendships with people that I forgot that God Himself was the first-ever friend when He walked with Adam in the garden.
Not only had I put my friendships on a pedestal, but I also lost the focus on what friendship even looks like. Christine listed 4 ways to practically practice friendship. Her first point was “Consider where your focus is. Are you concerned about what people do for you or what you can do for others?”
Wow. Here I was thinking about what everyone was doing for me, but had I stopped to consider what kind of friend I had been to them? Jesus came to serve, not to be served. It is more blessed to give than receive. Christine mentioned something that my dad has always told me growing up: When you walk into a room, your focus should be “there you are” and not “here I am.”
Friendships can be awkward and risky and difficult, but you can be sanctified by friendship and you’ll grow because of it. Practice bearing each other’s burdens.
Proverbs 11:25 says, “Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.”
Christine Hoover’s message was amazing, and I would absolutely recommend watching it. (I even sent it to my mom and sisters). You can find her message on the chapel archive.
Majoring in Visual Communication Design, Class of 2020
Favorite Book: A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Favorite State: Kentucky
Favorite Study Spot: The library
Favorite Song: Yellow by Coldplay
Favorite Drink: Dunkin Donuts (or as I like to call it “Dunky Donuts”) $2 iced coffee
Favorite Shirt: My green 25-cent Alaska T-shirt from the thrift store