With its emphasis on speed and busyness and the mis-named “social” media, the modern world has not been an especially welcoming place to develop long-lasting, solid friendships that nurture the heart.
The following quotes are taken from Michael A.G. Haykin’s new book Iron Sharpens Iron: Friendship and the Grace of God.
- “Modern culture in the West is not one that provides great encouragement for the nurture and development of deep, long-lasting, satisfying friendships. Such friendships take time and sacrifice, and the West in the early twenty-first century is a busy, busy world that as a rule is far more interested in getting and possessing than sacrificing and giving.”
- “The privileges and responsibilities of a biblical friend involve intimacy, loyalty, and a strong emotional attachment.”
- “This image of friendship being a face-to-face encounter implies conversation, a sharing of confidences and consequently a meeting of minds, goals, and direction. One of the benefits of face-to-face encounters between friends is the heightened insight that such encounters produce.”
- “Timothy’s friendship with Paul would have been a means by which God sanctified the younger man, giving him an ever-increasing richness of thought about God and the gospel, and an ever-growing desire for holiness and conformity to Christ.”
- “It would seem that Timothy has been in prison and has just been released. Did this imprisonment result from Timothy’s going to Rome to see his dear friend one final time in this world? If so, it is an imprisonment that Timothy suffered for the sake of friendship.”
- “The emphasis placed on the unity in Christ of all Christians encouraged a high degree of spiritual intimacy that resembled, and even surpassed, the intimacy considered by Graeco-Roman paganism to be essential to the experience of genuine friendship.”
- “Intimate friendships with evil characters will invariably have a negative effect on our lives.”
- “No friends are true friends unless you, my God, bind them fast to one another through that love which is sown in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, who is given to us.” (Augustine)
- “On January 27, 1552, Calvin wrote to Farel and chided him for reports that he had heard—true reports apparently—about the undue length of Farel’s sermons. ‘You have frequently confessed,’ Calvin reminded his friend, ‘that you were aware of this defect, and that you were endeavouring to correct it.’ Calvin went on to encourage Farel to shorten his sermons lest Satan use Farel’s failing in this regard to destroy the many good things being produced by his ministry.”
- “Christian friendships are a precious means of grace because they reflect, albeit imperfectly, the beautiful friendship of Jesus.”