I haven’t been on Boundless in a while and I also haven’t thought deeply about friendship in some time. I don’t know exactly why that is – probably because I’ve been finding other websites to waste time on and I’m too worried about grad school/current new relationships to philosophize about friendship in general. But I do love to philosophize.
In this friendship article, the author makes a really interesting point that I honestly never thought of. She notes that Godly friendships should lead to spiritual maturity. That’s not a complete surprise to me (I guess I had thought of it before), but it does make me think a little differently about some of the friendship struggles I’ve had.
Of course, my initial thought is to my most recent situation where I certainly became more spiritually mature (and just generally mature) over the course of a few months. Because of that time, as much as I hate to admit it, I was able to see some areas in my life where I really wasn’t honoring God or where I had enthroned other things or people instead of Him.
But after this initial thought, I remembered a situation that had occurred at the end of my junior year. It was a really tough moment for me because I had to come face to face with my pride and selfishness in a way that I hadn’t before. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always known I was prideful and selfish, I just never thought it was a big deal until I actually hurt someone.
So basically, I think that the highs and lows – especially the lows – of a friendship are what lead to spiritual maturity. I know some very good people, people who are really mature Christians, who haven’t helped me mature much as a Christian. If I’m completely honest, I usually end up feeling jealousy towards their perceived spiritual maturity which is obviously not a good thing. And then I’ve befriended some people at both ends of the spectrum of Christian maturity and I’ve grown from knowing them. But the growth doesn’t come from simply watching others and copying them, it comes from living with them, striving with them, and seeing them as they are.
Sometimes the hard parts of a friendship are hard because we’re clay being molded. We aren’t still dirt on the ground but we haven’t been put up on the shelf yet either.