Verse 3 I thank my God every time I remember you.
Friends. We all have them. Some have been our friends for most of our lives and some are more recent additions. We have some that we enjoy our hobbies with and some that we can just enjoy a cup of coffee or tea with. No matter the kind of relationship we have with our friends we are thankful for them.
Paul was thankful for his friends in Philippi too. He remembered the many conversations that he had had with them. He remembered meeting Lydia and the other ladies on the riverbank. Meeting those ladies changed him in the same ways that the little details of our lives do. He also thought about the jailer and his family. The memory of the earthquake the night he and Silas were in prison could have been a bad memory if it wasn’t for Paul and Silas’ love of God and their understanding that God uses everything for our good and His glory.
Paul would have had other memories of his time with the Church as well. And each of those memories brought him to another reason he loved these people. Another reason to be thankful for them. As with any friendship there is no doubt that he learned things from them as he taught them things. Paul wasn’t some pious man thinking that these people had nothing to offer him, he was ready to learn what he needed to.
A true friendship is one that has each person learning something from the other. The important thing is to remember that what we are learning will change us – for better or worse. We need to be careful that the friendships we hold near and dear are those that have us learning to love God in an ever growing way. This is why Paul was thankful for these friendships. The relationships he had with these people had grown him in his ministry and personal life.
So let’s evaluate our friendships. Are there friendships that are hindering our spiritual growth? If there are, we need to think hard about if they are friendships we should keep. Are there friendships that are helping us grow spiritually? Then maybe we need to invest more time in those friendships. These are the friendships to be thankful for.
Making It Personal
Who are your closest friends? Are these friendships drawing you closer or further from God? Which friendships are you thankful for?
Making It Personal Kids
Why is it important to have friends who help us love Jesus more? Do you have these kinds of friends? Are you this kind of friend?
Father, thank You for making us for friendships. Thank You for the friendships that enrich our lives and relationship with You. Help us be the friend that our friends need. In Jesus’ name, amen.