The Friend Who’ll Never Reject Us
By Jennifer Slattery
“One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin,but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24
About a decade ago, during a painful season when I was searching for a soft place to land and needing Christ-centered community, I developed a friendship with a woman who helped lead a local “home church.” This was a period of emotional and spiritual struggle when I was sensing God’s call to write but fighting against it out of fear of exposure. During this time, I shared my story with this woman for the first time.
I assumed she wouldn’t judge me but instead would celebrate all God had done while pointing me toward greater obedience. So, I told her about how I’d dropped out of high school and rapidly self-destructed into homelessness. I expected her to see in me a vivid display of God’s grace.
Instead, I was met with instant rejection, and I was crushed. I pulled away from relationships and once again hid my past. But God loved me too much to allow me to remain emotionally isolated. He gently yet persistently nudged me out by grounding me in His love. He assured me, though others may abandon or reject me, as they had Him, He never would. That, not the expectation of perfect friendships, is what led to my freedom.
Though God wants us to form connections and live in community, no one but Jesus will be that friend that sticks closer than a brother. Only God can provide that faithful assurance. Understanding that frees us from the false expectation that sinners will be perfect friends. It allows us to rest deeply in God’s unshakable love and grace. We find the peace and courage to build relationships with other imperfect people like us.
Jennifer Slattery is a writer, editor, speaker, and the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries. She writes for Crosswalk, is a multi-published author of Hometown Healing among other titles who also writes articles, Bible studies, and devotions. When not writing, reading, or editing, Jennifer loves going on mall outings with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband. Visit her online at jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com or book her for your next women’s event.
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