But I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, so that I also may be encouraged when I learn of your condition. For I have no one else of kindred spirit who will genuinely be concerned for your welfare. For they all seek after their own interests, not those of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 2:19-21 NASB)
A friend with a kindred spirit is a priceless gift from God. He or she can only come from God. God definitely has a unique way of bringing people together. I've been blessed to have a number of close friends over the course of my lifetime. As I've matured over the years, my friendships have also changed. Some have endured, some have faded away and new friends have also entered into my life ... all in God's perfect timing.
In this particular week of my life, I happened to stop by a blog I hadn't read in a long time and found this post about the kindred spirit friendship of Paul & Timothy as well as that of David and Jonathon. When I read one commenter lamenting that she doesn't think these types of friendships exist any more, I wondered why this is so. While I don't believe they are "extinct", because I am fortunate to be a part of one, I do agree that they are rare. I also wonder if the reason for the rarity doesn't lie somewhere within the above passage, specifically because deep down people "seek after their own interests, not those of Christ Jesus."
Priceless friendships require both parties to be seeking after Jesus with all of their hearts. Both parties should be passionately seeking God's will over their own, pouring over the Bible in prayer for answers. They need to pray for each other, spend time with each other and be sensitive to the Holy Spirit's prompting to either exhort or listen to the other. Pride and self-serving agendas should be put aside. These are the prerequisites for priceless relationships.
Finding one person meeting these prerequisites is hard enough to find...and a relationship takes two! Even Paul could only find Timothy to be genuinely concerned about the Philippians and I'm sure that even Timothy wasn't all of these things all of the time. I'm wondering how much richer our friendships would be if we all persistently sought God's help to mold us into His image. Maybe we could become priceless friends.
1. Do you have what it takes to both "sharpen" and be "sharpened by a friend? (Pr 27:17)
2. How much are you seeking God?
3. Who do you need to become?
Janna Rust is a Professional Coach and Speaker dedicated to encouraging others towards lives God intends for them. For more information, visit her at www.purposefulpartnerships.com.