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Your Friendships May Be More Important Than You Think

I was about to start my freshman year of college, and I was afraid I wouldn’t have any friends at school. While there were plenty of people my age at the local charismatic church I was attending, I wasn’t sure I wanted to hang out with them.

They struck me as being a bit on the wild side (spiritually), especially this guy named Gerald. He worshiped God like he was drunk on the Holy Spirit, and if you struck up a conversation with him, he always found a way to bring it back to Jesus. It made me uncomfortable, but it was mostly because I wasn’t walking with the Lord. Gerald and all his friends seemed like these Holy Ghost powerhouses who’d reached another level of godliness I could never attain.

My mom finally arm-twisted me into visiting a small group that met at the college pastor’s house. I was nervous as I walked through the door, but when I got inside, there was Gerald, beaming and ready to have a conversation. I didn’t quite know what to talk about, so I told him about some lame high school accomplishments, to which he responded with a genuine, “Wow! That is amazing!” each time. I loved the affirmation, which got cut short when the group discussion began. That’s when things got interesting.

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