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Beth Moore: Friendships should honor God

DETROIT (BP)–Girlfriends and God -– both are biblical relationships necessary in the life of a Christian woman, Beth Moore told 7,000-plus Living Proof Live attendees Feb. 16-17 in Detroit.

Addressing the need for biblical friendships, Moore cited five characteristics of biblically sound friendships:

1) The truest friendships are distinctive from any other relationship.

“People in today’s culture are quick to misname acquaintances as friends,” Moore said. “A close friend should be someone you feel free to love and with whom you have common interests.”

Moore held her hand high in the air, proclaiming, “You should only have as many close friends as you have fingers on one hand.”

2) The truest friendships take place face to face.

“Overwhelmingly, most communication is nonverbal,” Moore explained. “If all I am doing is e-mailing friends, then we are missing something. Some amount of proximity is necessary in friendships.”

3) Close friendships attach to the soul.

Referencing the term “closest friend” in Deuteronomy 13:6, Moore equated close friends to being “soul friends,” noting, “You decide what is planted in your life and what is not. Biblical friends are meant to sharpen one another. Unhealthy friends make you spiritually dull.”

Moore explained that healthy relationships are knitted together, but not entangled. She defined entanglements as “codependent messes, with jealousies and neediness that can never be met by another person.”

4) True friendships endure.

Reading Proverbs 17:17, she challenged her audience to love at all times, when the other person is loveable and when they are not.

“The highest kind of love is not a feeling, but a willing. Some days it is easy to love them, sometimes you want to kill them,” Moore said. “But you have to will [love] until you feel it.”

5) The truest friendships are trustworthy, even with a wound.

From Proverbs 27:5-6, Moore read, “Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.”

“Godly people are not deceitful people,” Moore said. “If you have a friend whose words could be trusted and they wounded you, ask what was their motive. Even if they weren’t right about what they said, was their heart well-meaning?”

Lydia Tucker identified with the type of biblical friendship Moore described. She came to the event from Indiana with her mom, twin sister and a close friend of 25 years, Diane Copeland.

Tucker and Copeland testified of seeing each other through hard times such as divorce and family tragedies.

Pointing to Copeland, Tucker said, “When Beth mentioned about having the same number of close friends as you have fingers, this is one of mine.”

Audience members Amber Oswald and Leslee Burns voiced a similar experience.

Reaffirming Moore’s teaching that biblical friendships endure, Oswald said, “We have been friends for 10 years, seeing each other through miscarriages and births of babies.”

Moore said divine friendship, similar to human friendships, also takes place face to face, referencing Exodus 33 when Moses would meet with God. The Lord would speak “face to face with Moses, as a man speaks with a friend.”

Putting her palm inches away from her face, Moore demonstrated her understanding of how close God is to those whom He calls friends.

“When you pray, you are face to face with the skin of Christ,” she said. “When you wonder if He hears you, realize that He is leaning down on you, literally in your face. As you read His Word, His breath is on you.”

Moore also described divine friendship as involving intimate disclosure.

“God will never tell your secrets,” Moore said, “but He will tell you His.”

Giving examples from Abraham in Genesis to Jesus’ in Matthew and John, Moore affirmed that God shares His understanding and wisdom with His friends.

Contrasting friendships with God versus people, Moore noted that divine friendship required obedience. “It annoys us to pieces that God gets the right to tell us what to do,” she said. “But He has said, ‘If you obey me, I will make your life profoundly effective and fruit bearing.’ He cannot wrong you. You can entrust your life to Him.”

Seventeen women publicly accepted Christ as Savior during the conference in Detroit, taking their first step toward friendship with God.
Additional Living Proof Live events planned for 2007 include March 23-24 in Bossier City, La.; April 13-14 in Columbia, S.C.; April 27-28 in Albuquerque, N.M.; May 11-12 in Omaha, Neb.; May 25-26 in Boone, N.C.; and Aug. 24-25 in Providence, R.I. For more information, visit LifeWay.com/women.

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  • Jenny Rice