The Comparison Game | Day Twenty
By: Megan Gover | To download this study, click here.
There used to be a time in my life where seeing close friends hang out or post on social media cut deeper than a knife. It exposed a longing to have deep and close friendships.
Maybe you’re in the exact opposite position. You might have one or two extremely close friends, but you wish for a wider group or variety of people in your social circle.
Regardless of what type of friendships you currently have, it is important for us to understand God’s design and purpose of doing life with others.
Before we get started today, ask the Lord to redefine your view of friendships so you may live in the fullness of His joy!
I liked to think friendships tend to look like my favorite dessert, key lime pie. I believe the anatomy of this pie makes up three different types of relationships we can have with our friends. Whether they represent the whipped cream, middle filling, or the crust, God created different types of friendships that we should consider a blessing.
The first component of key lime pie is whipped cream. It’s on top of the pie—light and tasty. In friendships, these are people who you know from school, church, or other activities. They know your name and a little about you, but they don’t know the core of you. However, they add a lot of fun and laughs to your life.
Who would be an example of a “whipped cream” friend in your life?
The next component is the middle filling. This is the good stuff! It has the sweet lime flavor and comprises most of the pie. A “middle filling” friend regularly spends time at your house, knows your favorite candy, and understands all the drama and excitement going on in your life. More importantly, they know what’s going on in your heart and push you to know Christ.
Who would be an example of a “middle filling” friend?
Lastly, the crust is the hearty part of the dish. It compliments the tangy lime taste and anchors the dessert as a whole. A crust friend is the exact same thing. They are consistently showing up for you in your life. They are your people—the ones who know your deepest insecurities and weaknesses and love you despite them. This type of friend infuses your life with confidence, encouragement, and joy. You know they will stick around regardless of seasons and trials.
Key Lime Pie has a tiny layer of crust. And in life, these types of friendships are rare, but a treasure.
Here’s the thing: each are essential to having key lime pie. You don’t run a fork through a slice and only come out with only whipped cream. You can’t skip over the middle filling. And it’s not all crust.
In the same way, we need different friendships in different seasons for different reasons. This is how God intended friendships—to be a sweet addition this side of heaven.
If comparisons are guilty of clouding out our joy, let’s infuse more truth into our lives by gaining a biblical definition of friendship.
So! Let’s start with Proverbs 13:20.
What is wisdom? What is folly?
Name a time walking with someone wise added wisdom to your life.
Name a time walking with someone foolish added harm to your life.
Friends directly impact how we think, act, and talk. We either become like a thermometer—reflecting the atmosphere and culture of those around us—or mimic a thermostat by setting the temperature with wisdom.
When it comes to friendships, which one defines you more: a thermostat or thermometer? Explain.
If we want to live in the fullest extent of the Lord’s joy, we must begin to see friend’s not only a source of fun, but as people who serve the function of holding us accountable.
Now, let’s turn to Proverbs 27:17.
What does it mean to spiritually sharpen one another? Why is this important in the Christian walk?
Do you have friends who are actively sharpening you as you sharpen them? If so, what things are they currently holding you accountable in? If not, what steps do you need to take in order to find friendships like this?
When we walk with people who hold us accountable, we experience the unparalleled joy of becoming more like Christ!
Now, flip to Proverbs 17:17 and Proverbs 18:24.
When is a friend supposed to love you? What was a brother or sister born for?
Name a time when a friend really came through for you. Do you remember how you felt? Did it propel you to do the same? Why or why not?
How can you begin to show up for others when it’s inconvenient or frustrating?
Is there a friend who has been there for you through thick and thin? Take a moment and thank the Lord for her. Then, take a moment once we’re done with this study and send her a text thanking her for her friendship!
Lastly, let’s visit Ecclesiastes 4:9-12.
According to this passage, what are the benefits of having friends?
God designed us to crave and need community with other believers. Though we are called to befriend those who need Jesus, our source of encouragement, strength, and comfort should be sought from wise counsel.
Through the haze of comparing ourselves to our sweetest of friends, we lose sight of the true purpose and power of Christ-centered people holding us accountable. So, the next time you find comparisons creeping into your friendships, ask the Lord to help you remember to choose community over competition!