I have one broken friendship I am not sure if it will ever be reconciled. However, even if we did reconcile I don’t necessarily believe we would be close again. Making a long story short, in a period of time after my sin and transgressions… I was not very understanding of her sin and weaknesses and her self righteousness causing her own poor judgment and decisions. When it comes down to is I wanted a person in her life that would reflect a mirror in her face, Unfortunately, I was not the one to do it.
People need people in their lives that are willing to show them their own reflection in a mirror. These people in my life are people I trust and are part of my inner circle. I love those guys. When we get together, we have an environment that is safe to discuss our real, sinful selves.
Unfortunately, most people that like to reflect a mirrors at people and their sin don’t want one reflected back at them. Normally, this makes for poor bed fellows as we deal with the sin in our lives and work to overcome it. Having vulnerability and honesty is often threatening to people because it exposes their charade (often a religious charade) as they run from others regarding their own sin and try to cling to the old ways they would medicate themselves.
1 Timothy 3:9 (New International Version)
9They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience.
1 Timothy 4:16 (New International Version)
16Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.
1 Timothy discusses how an overseer or deacon needs to grasp the deep truths of scripture well. It also tells us later to watch our doctrine carefully. Our doctrine does matter.
I have divided the people in my life into outer circle and inner circle people and have talked to my wife about doing the same. The reason for this is that I am leery and distrusting of people who are knowledgeable about truth and Gods word but somehow don’t grasp the deeper truths of scripture. The reason for this distrust is partially due to my experience with these friends.
Talking from experience of my own sin, experiences, and recovery from sin… your theology matters as you work through all the sinful addictions of the world. Good doctrine makes for good blessing for your hearers as it says in 1 Timothy.
Good doctrine understands the DEPTHS of scripture and not just the truths of scripture.
- It understands that sin is mans primary problem and it sees Jesus as the rescuer from sin.
- It understands that at the root of all sin is a breaking of the first commandment to have no other Gods. Therefore, to fight against the idols of this world we need to engage in expulsive, replacement, rejoicing of Jesus Christ in the face of our idols.
- We get in trouble when we think too highly of ourselves. We will always get into trouble when we start thinking we have a bit more moral fiber than our neighbor.
- Good doctrine allows the doctrine of sin to become an ordinary feature in how we view ourselves and our public discourse. Good doctrine sees Jesus as a rescuer and not just a medicine you take to get a “little better”.
- Good doctrine understands that fighting sin requires the heart of a warrior. It understands that this battle is FIRST about what we WORSHIP than it is about mans will to overcome sin. Mans will will always follow what it worships.
- Good doctrine strives to get the gospel of grace and mercy on “video” and not just get it on audio.
- Good doctrine understands that sin is part of the ordinary human experience therefore allowing us to face sin (and pain) head on without shame or dealing with it in isolation.
- Good doctrine sees religious, self righteous idolatry as much as our irreligious, worldly idolatry. We don’t want to exchange one type of idolatry for another (like smokers gaining weight after they quit smoking).
IF we ever reconcile this friendship (with much prayer and great wisdom) it really would not matter if they are inner or outer circle friends again…. that is probably something that cant be forced. Even Jesus had an inner core of Apostles he was closer to. But God has called me to love them despite any of my sin or their sin. I have my sin addictions to sin and she has her own. I have come to grips with my sin and have people in my life that I trust to reflect my sin back to me. I share bible study with a group of men who understand the doctrine of sin and let me confess my sin and allow me to practice being a “doer” of Gods word in the safety of a group of men that I trust. As I meet with these men weekly I know I have a group of guys that give me safe environment to “practice” in this group what I want to do and be in the real world. We don’t just pass knowledge back and forth…. its much deeper than that.
I hope my friends have those kinds of people as well… but it does not matter if they do or not…. God has called me to be a doer of his word and not just a reader and knowledge expert of it.