We have all seen commercials or heard or read stories of someone who set a goal for themselves that they didn’t think they could reach, until a sibling, parent, or friend stepped up and volunteered to go along for the marathon run to fight cancer, shave your head for another cause, or go without something to benefit the less fortunate.
Picture someone trying to lose weight and they decide to reduce the amount of sugar they take in. Joe says he will not drink any soft drinks for the whole semester. No caffeine, no carbonation, no Coke, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, etc.
Then the guys in Joe’s Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship sponsored small group decide to rally around Joe in his endeavor. They want to support and help Joe reach his goal, knowing how hard it can be to lose weight. So the seven guys determine that avoiding all the sugar in soft drinks and some not-as-necessary carbohydrates in pizza, chips, and so on would be good for them as well. So eight guys were now on a reduce-my-sugar (and carbs) intake.
But even though some other students reacted and said, “Whoever heard of pizza and…water, not even lemonade?” Or no pizza, but more chicken, fish, fresh fruit, and vegetables? Mothers everywhere were cheering, but ironically, other students heard about the small group of eight’s pledge of partnership and decided to join the cause.
Family members of Joe and the seven guys heard of the effort and decided to join the “no sugar” journey, even from hundreds of miles from campus. A little over two dozen men and women supported Joe, so he could reach his goal and drop a few pounds.
Read Romans 15:1-7.
What a great example of the kind of supportive, unselfish love we need to show each other – in our families, the body of Christ, and those around us outside of faith. How much easier it is to live a Christ-honoring life if we have another friend or two willing to make the same sort of effort we do. That’s why two or three are often better than one.
How could a buddy system help you right now? What are you struggling with that would be easier if another friend would offer to “tackle it” together? Or who needs your help this week? Who could benefit from your support and/or accountability? What are some scenarios where someone could make progress if you supported them in their decision making? Or conflict resolution? Or dream following?
Imagine if someone said to Joe, “C’mon, Joe, losing a few lbs is not that tough! A Pepsi now and then can’t hurt. It seems stupid to me to swear off soft drinks for the whole semester. You’re making too much out of this sugar-reduction thing.” Or what if someone said to a Christian, “C’mon, get real. Who cares if the movie is rated R. What can a little gratuitous language and violence matter? Or, what are you, a nun? Who says you have to stay sexually pure?”
Don’t do that to your friends. Come alongside them in support. Tell them you will help them keep their standards high, by joining them in their quest to live life well. Together, you will find it easier to live a Christ-pleasing life. Walk wisely. True friendship can help you stay on course.
Love is a verb,
©2016 by Mike Olejarz