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Bridge Chapel - March 8, 2017

Navy Chaplain Joe Gilliam had the opportunity once again to address the students of GCA’s Bridge Academy this morning, focusing on friendship. He began by explaining that God created each one of us to desire friendships, but the entrance of sin into the world has distorted that desire, making people either retreat into solidarity or use their friendships as an idol. He taught that everyone is a result of their own environment and that what one allows to influence them ultimately shapes who they are; this includes the decisions one makes within their friendships. Launching off of Proverbs 27, Chaplain Gilliam then gave the following points of wisdom to the students concerning their current and future friendships:

F: Forming Friendships- God provides us with friends to speak wisdom, encouragement, and admonishment into our lives. Using the biblical illustration of “iron sharpening iron”, we should always ask ourselves, "Is this friendship making me more like Christ?” (Proverbs 27:17)

R: What repels friends? - Some people desire relationships so much that they will be friends with anyone. Proverbs tells us that if our ultimate satisfaction and fulfillment is in our friendship with God in Christ, then we will be full and more apt to be discerning when it comes to friendships. The one who does not find fulfillment in God will crave any friendship in order to fill their void. This craving will ultimately cause destruction in their life. (Proverbs 27:7)
I: Ignoring friendships- There are some friends that are not wise friends to have. Everyone is an “angler” (someone always looking at how a situation can better themselves). Ultimately, a Christian needs to be wise in discerning who is and who is not worth being friends with.

E: Ending friendships- If a person walks with God, there are going to be times when they will need to choose to end certain relationships due to the fact that a particular friendship might not be building them up in Christ but instead is influencing them in a negative way.

N: Never-ending friendships- A person will engage in numerous friendships throughout their life while only having a few deep, true friendships. True friendship will stand the test of time; a true friend will always be willing to look past the minor offenses because they understand the grace and love of God.

D: Details of friendship- Everyone has, at one time or another, failed at a friendship; no one is perfect. There is only one person who is a perfect friend: Jesus Christ. Therefore, one should always look to Christ as the perfect example of a friend and attempt to live out of His model, with love, grace, humility, and availability.

Key Passage: Proverbs 27:5-18

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