Created for Communion

Created for Communion

Guest Post by Kristin Taylor 

We are broken people, but Jesus’ death and resurrection made a way for us to lay aside our sinful nature and approach God and His kingdom, gradually becoming more like His Son. We are better friends when we rely on the example of Jesus and His people shown to us in scripture and allow the Holy Spirit to do transforming work within us. Jesus presents the ideal for which we strive. Our souls long for the perfect communion we ultimately will find in eternity with Christ, yet we also must accept imperfections and limitations until we arrive. Friends let each other down, have busy schedules, experience personality clashes, give into isolation, and get bogged down by life. But I’m convinced we are better together than we are apart because that’s how we’re created to live.

A Look at James

In our surrender to Christ alone can we be good friends to each other. In his letter to the Jewish Christian house churches, Jesus’ brother James warns these believers about worldliness that causes quarrels among them (James 4:1). Friendship with the world leads to wanting things we really don’t need. In contrast, God gives “more grace” (verse 6) that will ultimately lead to His glory and our good. Then in verse 4, he asks a probing question: “Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” “Enmity” means hostility—which is the opposite of friendship. Then James gives some commands and promises in the context of friendship: 

“Submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you” (James 4:7–8). 

My pastor and friend Kory Cunningham said in a 2021 sermon about these verses that submitting to God (verse 7) is choosing friendship with God and letting go of what the world wants. The promises and commands here are plural—“y’all” submit to God, resist the devil, and draw near to God together. This is, Kory said, a community effort that has God as the foundation.

Holy Friendship

Qualities of holy friendship are described in Galatians 5:22–23 as fruit of the spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These are nine characteristics, but in scripture they are one cluster of singular fruit. This is the evidence we are keeping in step with Christ—and it is also the fruit of friendship. To be a good friend, we have to seek to reconcile when conflict arises and practice patience when someone does something that annoys us. We may have to be the one who goes first with sharing something personal, stepping out in faith, for being vulnerable and authentic is the pathway to intimacy. Ultimately, taking the time to form those friendships is essential because they draw us to God, molding us into the people He created us to be.

As we seek God wherever we are, we also get to cultivate friendship along the way. The world tells us we have to search high and low to find the “right” people to be our friends, but God has given us all a sphere of influence right where we are. We don’t have to be different, live somewhere else, go to a new church, or change jobs. Sometimes, meeting friends may come when we’re busy doing something else. I’ve made friends at my kids’ school and during their soccer practices. I’ve connected with people at church. Other writers and I have connected online and then spent time together brainstorming the projects God is leading us to. Often, meeting people is the easy part. Investing yourself and accepting another is the hard but holy work of friendship.

Friendships Change

Having different kinds of friendships is both beautiful and complicated. Friendships change over seasons in life—some more unexpectedly than others. Some of these changes will hurt. Friendship conflict and brokenness hurt because of the intimacy already developed. It can feel like a wound that won’t heal when a friend is still present in your life but your relationship with her is painful. There will be times of ease and joy and times of frustration and sadness. Through it all, we are called to love our friends as Christ loved us, sacrificially and unconditionally. Of course, this isn’t always easy, but Jesus, the ultimate friend, makes it possible.

Read Created for Communion

Even before God sent Jesus, He showed His love through His people—people who had friends and were friends. There are so many biblical examples of friendship if you look closely. My new book, Created for Communion: Discovering God’s Design for Biblical Friendship, explores some of those in this book and teaches how God allows His people—then and now—to befriend one another in holy ways.


This is an excerpt from the introduction to Created for Communion: Discovering God’s Design for Biblical Friendship by Kristin Hill Taylor. Kristin believes in seeking God as the author of every story and loves swapping these stories with friends on her porch. She lives in Murray, Kentucky, with her husband and three kids. She has self-published two other books: Peace in the Process: How Adoption Built My Faith & My Family and Bringing Home More Than Groceries: Stories About Gathering & Nourishing People. Join her on her virtual porch at kristinhilltaylor.com

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