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Friendships are often seen as a casual luxury. Certainly, life is better when we have a few friends around. And it’s nice to hang out and have a good time together. But it seems rare to consider such relationships a vocation worth fighting for. Yet much of our spiritual maturity and impact in the world comes through our vocation of friendship.

A vocation is simply our sense of personal calling and commitment to advance what is true, good, and beautiful in life. And the vocation of friendship is using the crucible of our friendships to refine each other as we also seek to advance God’s kingdom of light together.

On the one hand, it’s a commitment to serve each other as iron sharpening iron. To be sure, there’s a place simply to enjoy each other’s company. But as a vocation our friendships must also go deeper – calling the best out in each other. And this requires backstage access and a willingness to challenge each other as needed. Often a true friend can speak into our life in ways our family and even our wife simply cannot.

All the same, our friendship is not just about building each other up. Part of our vocation is also learning how to partner together to bring more life and goodness into the world. Why did God bring this friend into our life? And what is the unique mission God has given this friendship? The vocation of friendship often includes this outward mission and impact beyond simply the inward enriching of our lives.

In the end, our lives are left impoverished and our impact diminished when we don’t invest in the vocation of friendship. Practice the discipline of friendship to continue your journey of maturity and to bring more goodness into the world.

Photo by Arifur Rahman on Unsplash

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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