Holly Furtick

How to kill a friendship

Friendships are such a difficult thing to navigate in life, but such an essential part of life.

I read that the average friendship has a lifespan of 5 years.  That is kind of sad but yet comforting at the same time.  Friendships ebb and flow.  Jobs change, people move, kid’s schools, teams and hobbies change.  When a friendship ends, it does not mean there is something wrong with me.  It is just a natural part of life.  There are, however, a few things you can do to fast forward the ending of a friendship.

1.  Jealousy. Jealousy will kill a friendship faster than anything. If you cannot celebrate the successes of your friend, they will eventually stop sharing those wins with you. Proverbs 27:4 says, “Anger is cruel and wrath is like a flood, but jealousy is even more dangerous.”

2. Judgement. If you never come to a place where you accept others even though you disagree on something, you cannot cultivate that friendship. Is my friend too strict because she doesn’t let her children play with certain games or read certain books? No, just different. Just because my beliefs are different from yours does not mean I am right and you are wrong.

3.  Comparison. Anyone who is constantly comparing is a drain to be around. It doesn’t matter if you are comparing careers, possessions or children.  Check out this line from Dillon Burroughs, “The problem with comparison is that you always feel either better than someone else or worthless compared to someone else.”  Constant comparison will suck the life out of a friendship.

4.  Lack of Confrontation. No friendship can move forward if it does not push past a conflict. No, we do not have to always speak the truth in love, but there are times when we must confront a situation (not talk about it to everyone else), talk through it and move on.  Conflict can either destroy or, if handled correctly, can deepen a relationship.

A few more thoughts on friendship…

Remember, friendships need to be cultivated, but if a particular friendship is like caring for an orchid… try as you might, the petals are falling off, it may be time to let it go.  On the other hand, if you have an friendship that is like an oak tree, one that is steady and has weathered many storms, you should fight for that one.

Loneliness is something everyone experiences.  But we all must be reminded sometimes that it takes a friend to be a friend.  What kind of friend are you?  If you feel so lonely, when was the last time you invited a friend to lunch?  When was the last time you sent a note of encouragement, or bought your someone a gift just because?

And don’t forget, God wants to bless us with friendships but Jesus is the true friend.  Sometimes I think I mistake loneliness in my life for lack of closeness with Jesus.  When I am full in my relationship with Jesus, I feel more fulfilled in every area of my life, especially my friendships because they become more about what I can give, not necessarily what I am receiving.

A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.  Proverbs 18:25

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Monday Morning Commentary

Yesterday we continued our series, Consider the Source, with a very challenging message.  Last week Pastor Steven taught us, “Don’t forget where you come from.”  This week he taught us, “There’s more where that came from.”

He gave us 4 questions to see if we have a MORE mindset or a SCARCITY mindset.

  1. Do I see myself as ENTRUSTED or ENTITLED?  Duet. 8
    Any blessing I don’t turn back to praise turns into pride.
  2. Do I give out of RELATIONSHIP or RELUCTANCE?  2 Corinthians 9:7
    For God so loved the world that He gave!  Love gives!
  3. Do I give out of OBEDIENCE or is it OPTIONAL?  2Tim 6:17-19
    It’s not a decision, it’s devotion.  If you wait until the optimal time to give, you will never do it!
  4. Do I want to MULTIPLY or MAINTAIN?  John 6:32-35
    When you bring the resource to the source, it becomes MORE!!

The message was so challenging I especially love the encouragement at the end that when I keep all the resources I have been given, that’s all it will be but everything that I give to God multiplies!

You can watch the message today on the Elevation Network, in our archive and on our podcast.

And don’t forget, every sermon is also available on the Elevation App for your smart phone.

Have a great Monday!

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Elevation Worship does it again!

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I am so excited!  Our worship team released an EP today with two of my favorite new songs we have been singing at Elevation!  Unstoppable God and my personal favorite, Jesus I Come.  There is also a new version of Raised to Life available as well!  We have these songs on repeat in the car and in the house!

The EP is available only in digital format. Click here to purchase from iTunes.

We’ve also made several resources available for each of these songs at ElevationWorship.com, including lyrics, chord charts, loops, tutorials, and more.

And just because she’s so cute…

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Monday Morning Commentary-Consider the Source

We started our newest series yesterday, Consider the Source, a series helping us to understand that God is our source and everything else is just a resource.  The title of the sermon was, “Don’t forget where you come from.”

We learned that when you remove the substance from the source, it will die.  Genesis 1, God spoke to the land to create vegetation, He spoke to the waters to create the fish.  But when God wanted to create man, He spoke to Himself.  If you take vegetation from the land, or fish from the sea, they will die.  So is it when give in to the temptation to focus on my resources, rather than my source, God, I will die.

He told us, when you remember where you come from…

  1. It will put your situation in proper perspective.  Is 51:1-3- We have to start with the source, not the situation.
  2. It will keep you in perfect peace.  Matt. 6:25-33- Worry will disconnect you from the source.
  3. Bring you back to your rightful place.  Lk 15- All that God has is mine!
I love how my husband pointed out in the story of the prodigal son, that both sons had removed themselves from the source.  One was starving, one was slaving.  The Father told both of his sons, “All that I have is yours!”  Joy, peace, grace, wisdom, mercy, forgiveness is mine when I stay connected to the source!
This is going to be an incredible series!  You can watch the message today on the Elevation Network, in our archive and on our podcast.

And don’t forget, every sermon is also available on the Elevation App for your smart phone.

Have a great Monday!

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Glossophobia

Last week my husband spoke at Liberty University’s convocation.  He brought Elijah with him on the trip.  Elijah had been working on memorizing a little something at school.  I was so proud. Elijah definitely does not have a glossophobia.  It’s in the genes.

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Did you know?

 

Did you know you can have my blog come into your email inbox each time I post?  Yep. It’s true. Just click on the link on the side bar and enter you email address.

Hope you have a wonderful Thursday!

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63 fun and free!

Today is my dad’s 63rd birthday.  I am so thankful to have been blessed with a father who loves me and is proud of me and who tells me so on a regular basis.  He has taught me that following Jesus is fun and full of adventure (among many other things).  Happy Birthday Dad, I love you!

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Nothing but the truth

Ephesians 4:15 says Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.

I think that Ephesians 4:15 is so often misquoted.  I get tired of Christians running around correcting each other proclaiming that they are just “speaking the truth in love.” Does a true friend speak the truth in love?  Yes.  But a true friend also knows that just because something is true, it does not always have to be spoken.

For instance, if my friend has on an outfit that does not look the best on her, am I to tell her?  Of course not.  That would only embarrass her.  If my friend is complaining about her husband, am I to call her out in a loving way and tell her she shouldn’t do that?

What about my husband?  If he is watching too much tv or eating unhealthy foods, do I need to tell him in a loving way?  What if he is losing his temper with our kids, do I need to confront him?

Sometimes, love doesn’t need to speak.  Sometimes love remembers I lose my temper, I watch too much tv, and I complain too.  Sometimes love just prays.

My husband often jokes and calls me the Holly Spirit.  This is funny, but I have to constantly remind myself that I am not the Holy Spirit.  God did not put me on earth to point out the faults of those around me.  I have plenty of faults of my own to deal with.  And when I see something that someone in my life is doing wrong, sometimes the best thing I can do is pray and trust the Holy Spirit (who lives inside of them too!) to correct them.  Check out this verse from the Amplified Version…

John 14:26  But the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will cause you to recall (will remind you of, bring to your remembrance) everything I have told you.

He causes us to recall what we have been taught!  And he doesn’t need my help.  This weekend, I thought it was so funny when my husband said we need to remind ourselves that we are not the associate pastor to the Holy Spirit.

I do not always do this right.  But I can tell you that the times where I have seen a fault in my friend, or my husband, and I have taken it to the Lord, I have seen the Lord convict his or her heart.  One time, I decided that rather than nag my husband about something I wanted my him to change, I would pray for him.  Several weeks later he came to me and asked me if there was anything I saw in his life that I needed to change.  It was then that I spoke the truth in love.  There have been other times where I prayed about something and I saw the Lord do a work in a friend and I did even play a part in their change.

I need to remember that true change takes place when the Holy Spirit speaks, not me.

 

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Three!!

She’s 3!

Yesterday was Abbey’s 3rd birthday.  After a near tragedy with the birthday candles (see @pastorsteven on Instagram), and after we got her brothers off to school, I told her I would take her to the Disney store.  She asked several times if we were going to Disney World.  I told her no.  When we pulled up to the mall she asked if Cinderella’s castle would be there. Good thing she has never been to Disney World because she had the best time at the store.  She kept asking me if she was still 3.  Like suddenly she was going to go back to age 2 so she needed to check.  The day was perfect.  I am a blessed woman.

 

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The smallest bit

I came across this quote from the book, My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers the other day.

Even the smallest bit of obedience opens heaven, and the deepest truths of God immediately become yours. Yet God will never reveal more truth about Himself to you, until you have obeyed what you know already.

I believe there is so much truth to this.  God cannot take me from A to C if I do not do B.  Sometimes, when you are feeling like you don’t know what step to take next, you have to go back and see if you took the last step you were told to take.

Did God ask you to forgive someone?
Did you feel impressed the last time you were at church to give?  To serve? To join a small group?
Maybe God told you to take a break from social media, or tv?
Maybe you have a certain friend that you know is not good for you?

This isn’t a post about discerning God’s voice.  But sometimes He just impresses something on your heart and keeps bringing it back to your mind.  And sometimes there are obvious commands in the scripture that we just simply do not obey.

Like being kind.
Honoring your parents.
Respecting your husband.
Refraining from griping and complaining.

God is a God who rewards obedience above all else.  In 1 Samuel 15, King Saul disobeyed God and it cost him everything.  God commanded him to attack the Amalekites and destroy everything including the animals.  Saul did everything except he saved their king and a few animals.  When Samuel, the prophet, asked Saul what he was doing, Saul proclaimed that he was making a sacrifice to the Lord.  Look at what Samuel said back,

“Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
as much as in obeying the Lord?
To obey is better than sacrifice,
and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
For rebellion is like the sin of divination,
and arrogance like the evil of idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,
he has rejected you as king.”

God takes complete obedience very seriously.  And he rewards obedience very greatly.  Stop searching for the mysteries of God and obey the last thing he told you to do.  Then watch as He reveals more of Himself to you.

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