A Godly Man and His Friends “A”
When talking about a Godly man and his friends, I want to be clear that I am not referring to a hunting buddy or fishing pal. I am not talking about another man that you can golf with or even have a casual conversation with over the lunch hour sometime.
I am talking about someone who knows everything about you and you can bear your true self too. To get to that point, it kind of ties in with what we talked about last week at that is communication. We can’t be at the point where we are being transparent with someone, unless we are really connecting and communicating with that person.
Five levels of communication with our friends (John Powell)
1) Cliché level (elevator talk, How you doing? How about the weather? This level of intimacy is so opaque, you could have it with a total stranger!
2) Fact Level (Not much of a cut above from the cliché) Joe Friday!
3) Opinion Level (Not just sharing what you know, but sharing what you think.)
4) Emotional Level (The conveying of hopes, fears, disappointments, triumphs, and sorrows.)
5) Transparency Level (The giving away of who you are. You are like a walking MRI, or X-Ray to your friends. Transparency fish.
Scriptural Anchor Point #1–Proverbs 18:1 In other words, when someone separates themselves, they are seeking their own desire, self seeking, and quarrel against sound wisdom. Now this passage is probably not referring to someone who is pursuing holiness and separating himself from the things of the world that would impede such. Rather, it is a person pursuing selfishness, and throwing off the wisdom of friends who would counsel him otherwise. It is a man in pursuit of isolation and such an approach will soon prove unwise.
Far too many men will choose isolation and endure frustration or loneliness in order to protect past wounds and shield themselves from future inflictions. The tragedy to this approach is that the longer a man remains isolated in his struggles, without Christian brothers to encourage and support, the worse they become.
Scriptural Anchor Point #2a & 2b–Eccl 4:9-12, II Tim 2:22 (The Command to Connect)
Quote: Barnes’ Commentary to these verses in Eccl says, “A man without companions is like the left hand without the right.” If a man falls into sin, and he has a companion, a true friend, who can help him up and admonish and restore him in the right way.
Quote: Acquaintances accept, friends encourage, but brothers exhort.
1) When an isolated man falls down, what happens? ______________________
2) Why do you think Solomon used the word “woe” to describe an isolated man who has fallen? __________________________________________________
Scriptural Anchor Point #3–1 Peter 5:8
3) What does Satan’s comparison to a lion imply concerning his method (s) of attack? _________________________________________________________
4) What factors give a lion the best chance for catching and killing it’s prey? __________________
What factors make it more difficult?_______________
5) What lies do you think Satan tells a man to keep him isolated and open to attack? ________________________________________________________
6) Why do you think men continue living isolated and defeated lives? _______________________________________________________________________
7) When are you at your greatest vulnerability for being a tasty entrée for a lion? _______________________________________________________________
Alexander the Great conquered most of the known world for Greece, and one of his infantry formations devised that was handed down to him from his father, Phillip II, was something called the Macedonian Phalanx. With very long spears the soldier in this formation was daunting and formidable. But, should an attacker penetrate around the long spear, the soldier was pretty much defenseless with nothing more than a small dagger. But in this same Macedonian formation, the warrior had a trusted man right beside him to step up and protect him from the assailant. The Macedonian mandate was, in essence, never go into battle without your right hand man. And stick together!
A close kin for us today might be the buddy system! Remember when you were younger and maybe go on a school field trip or something…..you would always be assigned or otherwise choose a buddy. That buddy was your accountable to and for you. That buddy was to look out for you. To ensure that you weren’t going somewhere that was off limits. To make sure that when it was time to meet back up with the rest of the group and go home, that you were there. Somewhere along our way to manhood, we abandoned the buddy system, to our own hurt.
Quote: Most men could recruit six pallbearers, hardly anyone has a friend he can call at 2:00 am.—Patrick Morely.
Illustration: Jackie Robinson was the first black to play major league baseball. Breaking baseball’s color barrier, he faced jeering crowds in every stadium. While playing one day in his home stadium in Brooklyn, he committed an error. The fans began to ridicule him. He stood at second base, humiliated, while the fans jeered. Then, shortstop Pee Wee Reese came over and stood next to him. He put his arm around Jackie Robinson and faced the crowd. The fans grew quiet. Robinson later said that arm around his shoulder saved his career.
A Godly Man and His Friends Memory Verse:
Prov 18:24–A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
On Your Own:
1. Based on what we discussed today, how connected do you think you are with other men?___________________________________________________________________
2. If you are not where you want to be or believe God would have you be in the intimacy, openness and honesty of your relationships with other men, what risks are you willing to take to get there? _________________________________________________
3. Write down the names of at least two men (if not more) that you commit to pray that God would help you to connect with on a new or deeper level in the coming weeks. _______________________________________________________________________