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Pastor to Pastor

Friends in Heart and Mind

True friends are willing to confront.

Growing into Christ (3)

Now when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed… Galatians 2.11

Spiritual Friendship
Aelred of Rievaulx (1109-1167)
“…affection without reason is the sort of attraction mere beasts feel for each other; among humans it is given to forming attachments that are in many respects illicit – indeed, it cannot tell the difference between the licit and the illicit. However, we understand that often affection precedes friendship, but it ought never to be followed unless it is led by reason, moderated by a sense of honor, and ruled by justice.”

Peter and Barnabas were friends; they had true affection for one another. But they were not true spiritual friends, for their friendship did not prevent them from falling through temptation into sin. At just the moment they should have resisted the devil and stood up for righteousness, each failed, and they fell together. Paul was the true friend of both Peter and Barnabas, for he loved them enough to confront them in their sin, and that in front of a large company of their peers – those before whom they had sinned together. Paul had affection for Peter and Barnabas. But he did not allow his love for them to keep him from addressing their need. For Paul also had sound reason, rooted in the divine Word and focused on the upward calling of Christ, and reason prevailed over sentiment, as Paul practiced true friendship to strengthen and recover those who had fallen into sin. Friends are like that, yeah, they are.

Talk with some of your soul friends: How do affection and reason work together to strengthen true friendship? How can you together strengthen each of these?

T. M. Moore

Are you a soul friend?
What is the role of soul friendship in your work of making disciples? Are you cultivating an environment of mutual friendship, caring, and encouragement, or are you just running a program? Write to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and we’ll send you a copy of our free brochure on Soul Friends. Make copies for yourself and all those you are discipling, then meet to discuss how your work together can become a fellowship of true friendship into the Lord.

Pastoral Hope Initiative
Pastor, where are you in your walk with and work for the Lord? Are you growing? Covering all the bases? Working fruitfully toward the Kingdom of God? Our Pastoral Hope Initiative can help you establish a framework and baseline for steady, fruitful growth into the Lord Jesus; and for the remainder of this spring, we’re waiving the fee for men who want to work through this 14-week protocol. Watch this brief video, then, if you’re interested, let me hear from you at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Fellowship of Ailbe is supported through the generous and faithful gifts of those who benefit from and believe in our work. Does the Lord want to use you in this way? Please look to Him in prayer over this question. You can contribute to The Fellowship of Ailbe by using the Contribute button at our website, or by sending your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452. Thank you.

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
All quotations from Aelred of Rievaulx, Spiritual Friendship, tr. By Mark F. Williams (Scranton: The University of Scranton Press, 1994, 2002).

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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