NASHVILLE (BP) — This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, LifeWay publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.
This week’s Bible study is adapted from the Explore the Bible curriculum.
Bible Passages: 1 Samuel 18:1-5; 20:35-42
Discussion Questions: What characteristics make for a good friendship? What role should our Christian faith play in our friendships? How do our friendships serve as testimonies to others?
Food for thought:
Friends drift apart. It seems this drifting is inevitable with life changes. One friend gets a new job, and his circles of influence change. One friend gets married, so she gravitates to new friends who are married. One friend goes through the death of his spouse, and the couple’s friends become a painful reminder of what he once had. One friend and her husband now have a child, and suddenly they can’t go with you and your spouse to the midnight showing of the newest movies. Life experiences have a way of dictating friendships, unless they are built on a foundation other than experiences.
Jonathan and David came from different backgrounds. One grew up in a palace; the other grew up in a pasture. One was the oldest son; the other was the youngest son. One was the heir apparent; the other was the least apparent. Their relationships with their dads were very different. Their relationships with Jonathan’s dad, King Saul, were very different. One had access to the finest armor of the day; the other had a slingshot.
Yet they were the best of friends, and that friendship stood the test of time. They had a shared belief, trusting the Lord in their lives.
If we are followers of Christ, a shared faith in Christ should be foundational for our friendships. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t relate with and to non-Christians. In fact, we must build relationships with non-believers if we are going to win our world for Christ. It does mean that our relationships with other believers ought to be deeper than our relationships with non-believers. In fact, the nature of our friendships probably says more about us than it does about the friends we attract.
If common experiences and goals bring people together, than shouldn’t a common faith do the same? If that is not happening in your life, you have to wonder why.
Explore the Bible
Explore the Bible is an ongoing Bible study curriculum that helps groups dig into the key truths of each Bible book, while keeping the group on pace to study through the Bible books in a systematic way. More information can be found at LifeWay.com/ExploreTheBible.
Other ongoing Bible study options for all ages offered by LifeWay can be found at LifeWay.com/SundaySchool.