We have reached the final week of our friendship study. Congratulations on completing We Saved You a Seat by Lisa-Jo Baker at the Womens Bible Cafe™. My view of friendship has changed during this study. By participating in our small group discussions, I learned how many of my friendships are work-related. Since this study, I have been intentional about pivoting them into personal relationships. I’m reaching out more, making myself available, and allowing disruptions to a very BUSY schedule.

My new definition of a friend is someone SENT by God, to walk in partnership on this side of eternity. She is trustworthy, vulnerable, respectful, and kind. She has a sincere heart and mutual respect for boundaries.

Since completing this Bible Cafe™ study, I want to start traveling with my friends and planning in-person meet-ups with online friends. One of my Zoom(ers) shared how she is training to hike. And a friend who does NOT hike comes over and helps cheer her each week as she prepares and exercises. The friend does not exercise with her but is beside her as a cheering friend. I love that!! Everyone needs a friend who cheers for your journey.

From We Saved You a Seat online Bible study, I have learned to value the friends God has placed in my garden. To seek regular conversations and share life. For example, I made friends at my WW meetings and we would go to a coffee shop after the meeting. Or schedule a day of hiking.

Also in this study, I learned how walking away is good for both friends. It opens doors for new people to enter and spend time with you

Jesus shows love and generosity to his friends. He prayed for His friends, accepted their invitations to meals, and celebrated their religious holidays together. He traveled and made Himself visible. He gave them the gift of His wisdom. Looking at Jesus’ example, how should we react when friends let us down or hurt us?

First, I look for the spiritual aspect of my disappointment. Did this friend intentionally cause hurt or was she being used by the enemy of God and not aware of it? Next, I look at my heart and seek wisdom from the experience. What can I learn from this? Finally, I decided to keep her in my inner circle of friends, move her to my outer circle, or separate the relationship AFTER praying and seeking the Holy Spirit’s discernment.

Please look at Luke 22:3 NIV: Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve.

So Jesus spend 3.5 years with their friend Judas who was not yet under the influence of Satan. Thats HUGE. Don’t feel bad if your friend has a changed heart or your friendship moves sour. Maybe her faith moved in a different direction from yours.

Jesus knows our human tendencies and limitations. He prayed for His friends. He disciples His friends. He forgave His friends because “they know not what they are doing” (when under the influence of Satan).

This study book did not address the dangers of having Jezebel-like friends. These are friends who get close to the highest level of church or ministry, for power or manipulation. She’s the one gathering intel and then bringing down the church or ministry.

Boundaries are helpful to ensure there is no open door for a Jezebel stronghold to enter your heart. She can consume your time, resources, emotional energy, and strength. Study the Jezebel spirit and be watchful for someone who may be positioning herself for this purpose.

May you be blessed as you continue your journey of friendship- with Jesus!

Christine Abraham writes for the Bible Cafe™ community. Learn about living by the Fruit of the Spirit as you enjoy her online Bible studies. Join Christine at the Bible Cafe™ University for weekly Bible teaching.