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Fit Friends

Look for balance in a friendship.

Growing into Christ (4)

…and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord issalvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you… 2 Peter 3.15

Spiritual Friendship
Aelred of Rievaulx (1109-1167)
“Therefore this is the sort of man you should choose for a friend: one who is not troubled by the fury of anger, nor divided against himself by instability; one whom suspicion does not wear out, nor garrulousness loose from the dignity that is customary among us. It will be especially useful if you choose as a friend one whose character and nature fit your own.”

By “fit your own” I don’t think Aelred means, “just like you.” We all need balance in our lives, and soul friends can provide that. God gave Eve to Adam because she was “opposite to him”, as the Hebrew has it. That is, she complemented him in many ways and was thus a “fit” companion. Peter and Paul were friends, but it took some doing for them to fit together. Paul submitted to Peter in Jerusalem – which may have been a bit of a struggle for him, given their respective backgrounds. And Peter was taken to the woodshed by Paul in Antioch – which was just what he needed at the moment. But the two loved and respected each other and benefited from their friendship, despite their differences in backgrounds, callings, and personalities. A fit friend will provide balance, stretching, and support for your walk with and work for the Lord – just as you will for your friend. Such friendships are indispensable aids to growing into Christ.

What would you describe as a “fit” friend for you? Do you have such friends in your life?

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.

Friends help friends take prayer seriously
Prayer provides a context for men to grow together in love for God and one another. But getting men to pray with any consistency or depth – much less to pray together – can be a challenge. The resources of our Men at Prayer program could help you enlist, equip, and encourage your friends to seek the Lord more consistently in prayer. Watch this brief videoto learn about free resources available through our men’s prayer movement ministry.

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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