Over the last several weeks, we have been discussing the importance of having three certain relationships in our lives: Paul-coaches, Barnabas-friends and Timothy-mentees. This is the final part in our five-part series.
In order to find all of these relationships in your life, you need to also BE all those relationships to someone else. You need to be a Paul to someone. You need to be a Barnabas to someone. You need to be a Timothy to someone.
There may be times in your life when you don’t have all three working strongly in your world. But to be well-balanced, and fully living out your spiritual, emotional and mental potential, I believe you need all three.
If you have most of them but not a Timothy, you’ll be spiritually obese…a taker and not a giver. A stagnant pond. I’ve been there before and it’s miserable. We are designed to be givers. Find a Timothy.
Or maybe you have all three but not Barnabas friends. That will lead you to be legalistic and inhuman- looking for friends who are carbon copies of yourself and shying away from people who aren’t like you. People without Barnabas friends are often self-obsorbed, self-focused and prideful. I’ve been there before. You need friends who are DIFFERENT than you and can file down your rough edges. Find a Barnabas. Or a FEW!
Or maybe you have Timothys and Barnabas friends, but no Pauls. You’ll become cancerous. Giving but not receiving. Before long you will think you don’t need a mentor and you won’t except advice from anyone but the person in the mirror or people online who don’t know you. That’s how to run your tank dry… it’s miserable and will stunt your growth. You NEED to be filled. Fed. Taught. Coached. Trained. Corrected. Disciplined and discipled. Find a Paul.
Simple put: YOU. NEED. YOUR. PEOPLE.
This isn’t an optional way of living if you want fullness and fruitfulness in Christ. We just aren’t wired to be loners and self-sufficient. We need each other.
Evaluate your friends and the people closest to you… What category would they fall into? Which kind of relationship are you most lacking in? Where can you grow and learn more? For example…maybe you have a Paul in your life…but there is one area you just WILL NOT take advice in. From anyone for that matter. Are there areas you could become more teachable in for your growth and the benefit of those around you? Maybe you are resistant to the idea of a Timothy because you don’t want to spend the time and effort. Maybe you often say the words “I don’t have any friends”…that’s a good sign you might be too picky on who you’re befriending. The main things are good to see the same on- like Jesus. But beyond that you can be friends with people who aren’t like you. You will GROW that way.
Friends are important. Vital to our growth and spiritual walk. Accountability and feedback are the ways we process and learn. So, don’t be afraid to step out. Invite someone to coffee. Introduce yourself to the new person at church. Be a good friend and look for your Paul-coaches, Barnabas-friends and Timothy-mentees.
YOU NEED YOUR PEOPLE.