Thoughts on Friendship // with Tim Utekal

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Today I'd like to introduce Mr. Tim Utekal to you all. You all should check out his online publication Secondly Magazine where he writes about Christian living and entertainment.
After the end of the post, we'll find out a little more about him.



When I entered middle school I had no friends. I was transplanted in a community that was foreign to me, and I wasn’t sure how to adapt to it. My parents got me involved in a local youth group, but besides that I had no interactions with my peers outside of school until high school.
And you know what? I was fine with it. I didn’t realize the importance of close friendships because I never had them.

At some point in our lives, we all come to a dramatic realization: we can’t be lone wolf Christians.
The best friendships are formed when two or more people do all they can to prod, pull, and drag each other closer to Christ. That’s the beautiful thing about Christian friendships - they’re focused more on building a relationship with God than they are of building a relationship with each other. While sharing the constant struggle of living out our faith, a bond is formed that ultimately leads to a strong, selfless, committed relationship.

But how do we get to this point? What sets casual friendships apart from close ones? Vulnerability, honesty, and encouragement.

The Bible gives us a great picture of what a God-centered (or heliocentric, if you will) relationship looks like.

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that you may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. (James 5:16)

Not only is confessing sins emotionally liberating, but it’s actually encouraging to hear that your friends are going through the same struggles as you are. The kind of honesty that comes with confession builds trust, and attribute invaluable to a solid friendship. Vulnerability and honesty really go hand-in-hand. You can’t be honest and just show the best side of you, pretending the other side doesn’t exist. Being vulnerable is trusting your friend with the worst, darkest side of you.

Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)

This goes along with the metaphor of the Christian walk. As Christians, we’re all on a journey towards a rich relationship with our Creator, putting off the old self and putting on the new self. Inevitably, we will stumble along the way. When we do, our friends are there to lift us up and carry us back to where we need to be. In turn, we do the same when our friends are struggling spiritually.

And let us consider one another to  provoke unto love and to good works: not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some is, but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as you see the day approaching. (Hebrews 10:24-25)

What better way is there to show love to a friend than to spur them on in their faith? Friends are there to stir each other up to love and good works, to encourage each other to live the life God created them to live.

Trust, love, and loyalty is born when friends spur each other on as Christians in an honest, vulnerable, and encouraging way. That’s what makes relationships unbreakable.

After years of shallow relationships with kids at my school, a young adult from my youth group began to mentor me. He’s the kind of person I can go to and simply say, “hey, I need to get something off my chest.” Whether it’s a sin issue, fear, or deep insecurity, I can talk to him knowing that he will listen. He responds to me by reminding me who I am in Christ, reminding me the truths of God’s Word, and encouraging me to keep fighting the good fight and to keep pursuing God. What more could I ask? Because of my relationship with my mentor, I finally have a real-life picture of how a God-centered friendship worked.

I now realize that friendship is truly more valuable than gold.


Tim is a journalist, entrepreneur, and Christian. He enjoys writing for his online publication, Secondly Magazine. Though his obsession is creating original material, he also finds time to enjoy the company of his family.

Like I said at the beginning of the post, check out Mr. Tim's website here.

Thank you all for reading, and be sure to thank Mr. Tim in the comments for a great post!

"Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend." ~ Proverbs 27:17


Photo by Josh Applegate on Unsplash

4 comments:

  1. Thanks for the post, Tim! I'm so blessed to have you on here! :)

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  2. Great post! Really enjoying this series. :D

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  3. Yah, Ashley's doing a great job with it.

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