When friends become “the face of god”

” . . . Friends become the face of God to one another – the face of grace, of delight, of mercy.”*

Several months ago, I was asked to serve in a new capacity. I asked the typical questions and requested some time to think it over. I jotted down the pros and cons, tried to determine if my gifts would fit with my responsibilities, and prayed.

You see, to me, this represented more than a position or a job. I found myself at a crossroads. A seam. A place where the present emerges from the past. Where should my focus lie now?

In my quest to follow God’s leading, I reached for perspective from a few friends, friends I have come to appreciate and trust.

For years now, a group of writers has met around my dining room table. We’ve critiqued manuscripts, edited blog posts, and offered ideas and encouragement. After years of meetings, we’ve become close friends. 

When they lingered at the table after our meeting, I asked their advice about my decision. They listened. They heard my heart. And they shared insights I had not considered before. They brought clarity and objectivity to my decision.

Friends feed my soul. They help me grow. They keep me accountable. 

Another long-time friend lives in a neighboring state. We email and chat every so often. Pick up where we left off. Last week she shared a few thoughts on accountability from Jennifer Rothschild.

Questions to ask a friend:

1. What do you see in my life that encourages you?

2. What do you see in my life that you would like to caution me about?

3. What else would you like to tell me?

Proverbs 27:17 sums it up well: “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”

What role do friends play in your life? Are they “the face of grace, of delight, of mercy”? I want to be that kind of friend, don’t you?

*From Captivating, by John and Stasi Eldredge, page 180.

Sarah Lynn Phillips

Sarah Lynn Phillips shares the inspiring story of her family’s near-fatal car crash in her award-winning book, Penned Without Ink: Trusting God to Write Your Story. For individual or group study, she has also written a companion Leader’s Guide with reproducible study sheets. Her articles, devotions, and poems have appeared in numerous online and print publications. Through her writing and speaking, Sarah offers a vision of hope in the hard times. She has three adult daughters and three delightful grandsons. Reading, quilting, and tending her garden are among Sarah’s hobbies.

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