The subject of positive relationships is near to my heart because the Lord has provided me with dependable friends. These are the people who challenge me to do more for God. My friends love me, but they certainly aren’t content to let me stay as I am! If they spot a sin in my life or see something I could do better, they say so.
Paul gave relationships a high priority, too. The apostle surrounded himself with people who could help him achieve two things: fulfillment of his God-given mission and conformity to Christlikeness. While Paul was pouring himself into the lives of others, he was being built up and strengthened by fellow believers. That, in brief, is the Lord’s plan for every one of His children.
What about you? Do you have certain relationships that motivate you to pursue God more fervently? It does matter whom we allow to influence our lives. The Father equips your brothers and sisters to invest in you—to encourage you, pray for you, and prod you toward a more complete faith—so you are prepared to devote yourself to serving others. Good relationships with people who build each other up can help believers fulfill God’s plan for their life.
The finest relationships are between people who want to see each other succeed in faith and therefore “spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (Heb. 10:24 NIV). In other words, our best friends are those who love us as we are but never stop pointing us to the Lord and challenging us toward excellence.