In this brief winter word, I would love to have a closer look at one specific letter of SFC’s core values (BRIDGE) : R = Relationships.
As SFC Switzerland, we put a big emphasis on living lasting, healthy friendships as we believe that friendships are crucial in sharpening character and bringing transformation to both our personal lives and transformation in a whole culture/ scene.
Verse : Proverbs 27.17 “As iron sharpens iron so one person sharpens the other” (NIV).
Im sure I wouldn’t be where I am at today, if it wasn’t for the people who ran with me, who challenged me, who loved me, but also who questioned me.
I believe that our main aim in life is to realize who we are in Christ and through that become more like Him. Not only do we have to seek God’s face in order to reflect him, but also do we strongly need each other. I believe that with whom you surround yourself will ultimately influence this process. Community and friendships play an important role in our journey of transformation, of becoming more like Jesus.
Community and people around us is so important to our journey for many reasons:
- You need people to remind you who you really are and what was spoken into your life, so you can become the person who God intended when he created you.
- Friends will help you in times of temptation. You need people you trust and know have your best in mind. If you’re tempted, called out, and still act it out, it’s just being stupid.
- Being among people for longer will help you to grow in our giftings (i.e patience will only grow if I have to wait for someone again and again).
- Unity/community is in the character of God. God was triune since the very beginning: “Let US make man in our image” (Genesis 1:26, KJV).
- Friends inspire. They show what you can be. It’s not about copying, but becoming the best version of you through ideas and inspiration. We can then grow to inspire others.
- In relationships and community, we can see love. It may look like an ear that listens, feet that go the extra mile, a hand that comforts, a shoulder that remains, or a mouth that speaks value, hope, and life.
- Friends enable us to learn to see people the way God sees them. Know people by spirit and not by flesh.
How can we live in and adapt community in our lives as snowboarders and skiers for Christ?
For a community:
- Where and how do we create an atmosphere where people can live real friendships, get to know people, feel known and accepted, and are allowed to make mistakes and grow. How can we create family and a feeling of belonging?
- What kind of activities do we do where people can naturally get to know others, bond, and make memories?
- Ask yourself and the Holy Spirit the following questions. Take the time to journal your thoughts.
- Who is investing in and challenging me?
- Who is a friend with whom I want to run through life? Who do I allow to speak into my life? Who can I shapen in exchange?
- In whom am I investing?
- Ask the Holy Spirit to show you two people to intentionally invest in. How can you pray for, spend time with, and intentionally live in community with this person.
Besides these intentional relationships, friendship is something that will naturally happen out of an overflow of your love for Jesus. Jesus showed how to live in friendship. He intentionally chose people to be with, even though he knew one would betray him and others would deny him. These people weren’t a project; they were the target of his love. Let us love and be loved the way Jesus did. In all of this, let our love be anchored in God, knowing that He first loved us.
Sarah Nicolaisen | Thun, Switzerland