Have you ever thought of friends in terms of the fact that they need you? We sometimes think of friendships in terms of ourselves – our own needs, our own agenda, totally in the sense of, What’s in it for Me? Well, there is something in every friendship for us – but that’s not really what friendship is about. To think that way will twist it. The better question is ‘What can I give to my friends?’ To put it into context, imagine Jesus – the One who called us to follow Him – asking when it came to giving His life, “What’s in it for me?” I can’t even imagine that! He freely gave Himself – opened His arms – to welcome everyone into friendship who would come – and gave His life in the process! I’m guessing that the greatest gift we can give to others is not our money and stuff and amazing personalities and the ability to network – it’s ourselves. We struggle with selfishness and with being good friends – and with wondering what our friends think of us. But friends connect friends. And with us comes the opportunity to share a friendship with the perfect Friend. That happens over time – when we welcome His power into our own lives and serve with humility! Jesus changed everything by offering His friendship; your friendship could change more lives than you would ever dare dream!


The secret to bearing fruit is being part of a loving community. When we study together, pray together, love one another and encourage each other – we will bear fruit that will last. We can learn a lot about a plant by the fruit it produces. What does your fruit say about you?

DISAPPROVAL and Other Forms of Friend Repellent

It’s unfortunate for the Church of Jesus – and for the world Jesus loves and gave His life for, that His Followers have at times felt obligated to officially disapprove of people and the many ways they sin and fail and struggle. What’s strange is that Jesus never did that – and His strongest words were reserved for the ones who did. It’s amazing that we think so highly of our own opinions that we think everyone ought to know them! Actually, it’s not all that hard to take someone apart and make them feel like an insignificant, unimportant, permanently defective part of the human race. And we actually have the freedom to do that. But to do that automatically creates distance. We want to be close to kind people who genuinely care about our lives – and our hearts – not just how we perform. The Bible calls it grace – the opposite of disapproval – and it is irresistible! You can spray friend-repellent if you want – just don’t expect to attract friends. The best gift you can give in any relationship – is grace!


You’d think this would come naturally. What does come naturally is our IQ – which is largely irrelevant in terms of success and meaning in life. Relational intelligence or Emotional Intelligence is knowing how to relate to others in ways that are meaningful to you and them.  Jesus called us to love our neighbours as ourselves. RI is choosing not to allow our self-preoccupation to get in the way of that. Jesus said to treat others as you would like to be treated. RI is not just knowing that – but putting it into practice. Jesus told His followers to love one another as He had loved them. RI is learning to lovingly relate to other flawed people. RI is being willing to risk rejection and then take responsibility for initiating friendship, kindness, forgiveness and generosity. Relational Intelligence is being the friend you’ve always wanted to have.