A week ago, I wrapped up a sermon series on the beginning of Genesis and what it tells us about the goodness of God, Creation, and Ourselves. I ended with a focus on the beauty of friendship. Listen to it here.
As this Boston Globe article suggests, and the current Surgeon General has said numerous times, isolation is one of the greatest health risks we are currently facing. For men, we often find it easy to connect over surface level things. For my circle of friends this it the time of year when we talk endlessly about fantasy football. And I love it.
But deep friendship has to be about something more. Friendship means "having mutual regard for each other." You're connecting with someone over a common interest, commitment, or experience. One point that I didn't get to in the sermon was this: A great friendship is built upon a common vision that is worthy of the people involved.
Marcus Aurelius says it like this:
"A man's worth is no greater than the worth of his ambitions."
Around 20 years, John Piper gave a famous sermon about a retired couple that spent the rest of their days working on their golf swing and collecting seashells. In Piper's mind, what a waste of our one life and finite time. I can't help but agree. My time is my most valuable and scarce resource. What am I going to spend it on? Will it be worthy?
Great friendships are built on honesty, truth-speaking, vulnerability, and grace. Solomon says a good friendship is like "iron sharpening iron." We push each other to grow and be better. We find people that encourage us and hold us accountable to being the type of people we want to be.
I think friendships are at their best when they are also centered around a vision for our lives that is bigger than ourselves. Generous, sacrificial, and making the world a better place. Find something worthy of your life and surround yourself with people committed to the same thing.