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The Ethos of Friendship, Part 1

“There are some things which cannot be learned quickly, and time, which is all we have, must be paid heavily for their acquiring.”
—Ernest Hemingway

Before we get too far into February, let’s pause to see how last month went. Maybe things have been getting off to a great start. Maybe there were challenges, pressures, or circumstances that required us to exercise some courage. However we’re doing, one thing is certain, none of us would mind becoming more resilient.

Resilience is the ability to bounce back, recover, or remain through difficult conditions, and it is essential to a long-lasting vibrant faith.

So, how do we receive an extra dose of resilience?

One way is to consider the ethos of our friendships.

Eric Greitens wrote the following in his book, Resilience, “When a young person asks me for advice about what he should do, I often ask him: Who do you want to be with? Few things in life shape you more than the people around you, and few choices are more important than deciding who you’ll be with.”

Whether Eric knows it or not, Scripture agrees with him.

King Solomon, the wisest man who lived (apart from Jesus) wanted his son to know, “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” (Proverbs 13:20)

According to Solomon, wisdom is a result of the relationships we cultivate, rather than the knowledge we accrue. Though wisdom involves knowledge, it’s best described as knowing when and how to apply the information we have, which is why wisdom increases resilience.

This is why it is important to move beyond just attending church and becoming a part of the community of faith we call Cornerstone. Otherwise, we’ll discover the sad reality of this African proverb, “Alone I have seen many wonderful things, none of which are true.”

Resilience requires awareness of ourselves and our circumstances—awareness that only increases when we’re surrounded by friends who desire the same.

This means resilience is partly a product of the friendships we develop. The people we choose, build up, and invest into will directly impact the health of our souls. As followers of Christ, we have the opportunity to become part of a culture that is centered on the grace Jesus gives anyone who calls on His name.

If we crave an extra dose of resilience in our lives, let’s invest in the friendships within our community of faith. When we do we will discover that Jesus may say to us, “You have not chosen one another, but I have chosen you for one another.” (C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves).