We all need friends. We all need people in our lives who we influence and who influence us. Without those connections, we end up feeling lonely. Have you been there? I sure have, I’m right there with you.
Relationships can be tricky. If we aren’t filled with grace, we can be sure that our friendships will have some contention. Having grace-filled friendships can be difficult in this fallen world but it isn’t impossible!
4 Keys to Grace-Filled Friendships
Let Grace Diffuse Conflicts
As Christians, our relationships should look different than the world’s relationships. We don’t need to fight and argue with our brothers and sisters in the faith because of God’s grace (which takes a lot of humility!).
One of the characteristics of God is that He is always gracious and we always have access to His grace.
1 Peter 1:10 Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:
Because we have been promised access to God’s grace, we are able to grab more when we need it to help diffuse relationship trouble.
How do we get more grace? We pray, we read our Bibles, we get to know Him more. When we are close to God we are in a better spot to receiving immeasurable grace.
Pray for Your Friends to Have Grace
We all need a good dose of grace in our lives but have we ever stopped and considered praying that our friends would actually have grace in their own lives? I can admit that I have not!
Have you noticed that Paul greets all of his churches in his epistles with such kind, encouraging words and wishes that grace be upon them? Or that he ends those same letters with encouragement for them to continue on in God’s grace?
1 Corinthians 1:3 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Are you doing the same in your friendships? Are you praying that the friends in your life will have grace and continue on in grace? Maybe we should start.
Be Content with Your Differences
God gave us all our own gifts. We have a different job in the body of Christ. When we are content with our own talents and not envying the ones our friends have, then we can see a lot of peace in our relationships. A peaceful friendship shouldn’t sound strange!
Romans 12:6a Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us,
Ask yourself this: Are you a content or jealous friend?
God in His grace gave us differing gifts so that we may be good stewards of them through His grace.
1 Peter 4:10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
When we stop poisoning our friendships with jealousy (wanting their talents) or trying to change them, we can start using our own talents, respecting our friend’s talents, practicing hospitality, and being filled love towards our friends. When we don’t, then we end up not wanting to hang out with people. Instead, we argue, we get bitter and eventually the friendship dies.
Which one of those roads sounds more appealing?
Let Grace Determine Your Influence
We all want to have influence, don’t we? We are all influencing someone around us, whether it be for good or for bad.
When we keep this truth in mind, we need to let grace determine our influence. A gracious person will have more influence over a group of people than a loud, stubborn, bossy person.
Paul influenced many people in his time. He’s still influencing us today as we read the Scriptures.
Acts 13:43 Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.
Paul was full of grace in the way he treated people and how he spoke. Gracious people overlook hurt, overlook mean words, overlook a number of things because they know that the relationship is far more important than their own feelings. And if the time comes to speak up, they’ve earned the right to speak boldly and can still do it in a graceful manner because this is a way of life, not a quick phase you pass through.
Paul lived in such a way that people wanted to follow Him. Are you?
The evidence of the work of God’s grace in our lives is how we treat other people. Our actions and behavior determined our reach and influence. We all desire grace-filled friendships but are we willing to put in the work?How are you measuring up as a grace-filled friend?
Week 7 Reading Plan:
Week 7 Memory Verse:
Your turn! What do you need to work on today to start created more grace-filled friendships? Let’s chat in the comments below!
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