By LAURA LEE LEATHERS
“Anne of Green Gables,” written by L.M. Montgomery, is a beautiful story about love and grace. Hopefully, you’ve read the book or watched the original movie. One of my favorite things about the film is watching Anne Shirley, the main character, connect with shy Matthew Cuthbert. They understand each other — he’s her first kindred spirit. Later, we see Anne and Diana Barry become best friends — Diana is another kindred spirit.
The following is one of my favorite quotes from the book:
Kindred spirits are not too scarce as I used to think.
It’s splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.
My sentiments exactly!
Throughout our lifetime, we all have the opportunity to meet and be involved in many people’s lives. Usually, we see people in three categories: acquaintances, friends, and best friends. There is a weaving and working process of friendships throughout our lives. Circumstances, such as a move, can change relationships and start new ones.
Then there are those with whom the friendship goes deeper. That individual becomes our kindred spirit, a forever friend. I call these individuals my treasured friends. I’ve learned that most people have at least one close, intimate friend throughout their lifetime.
We could spend hours studying friendships found throughout the Bible and what it means to be a friend. Also, we could look at the book of Proverbs for wisdom and warnings regarding choosing friends.
Perhaps one of the best well-known references to a kindred spirit is the relationship between Jonathan and David in 1 Samuel. In 1 Samuel 18:1-4, NKJV, we read, “The soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.” They also made a covenant between themselves. In the next chapter, 19:4, we read, “Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father,” almost bragging. Then in 20:4, Jonathan was willing to do whatever David needed.
Notice that their relationship was “knit to the soul.” To me, this means that there’s a God connection, a spiritual bond. He has brought lives together for His kingdom’s purposes. The spiritual goal for all of us is to know God and make Him known. Therefore, one of the roles of a kindred spirit is to help you stay focused on this mission. They also need to be an encourager, and bold enough to hold their friend accountable. Jonathan also demonstrated a generous spirit. He was humble and unselfish.
The apostle Paul took an entire chapter, Romans 16, to list his treasured friends, as well as others to avoid. He describes Phoebe as a helper to many. Priscilla and Aquila risked their lives for Paul. Apelles was approved in Christ, and Rufus was in the Lord. In this chapter, Paul lists more than 30 individuals. He mentions others by referring to all the saints, the households, fellow prisoners, and “all the saints who are with them” (verse 15).
A common thread
As you read about Paul’s relationships, do you see the commonality? The common thread is Christ!
When Jesus began His ministry, He called 12 men to follow Him. They became His friends (except for Judas). Peter, James and John were a part of His inner circle. Then in John 15, Jesus speaks about relationships. First a believer’s relationship to Him, then between believers, then with the world. Notice verse 14: “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.” Our obedience is a testimony of our love for God and others.
The friendship of the LORD
is for those who fear him,
And he makes known to them his covenant.
Psalm 25:14, ESV
(Additional references: Galatians 3:26-29, Ephesians 4:1-6, Ecclesiastes 4:9-12.)
Characteristics of a treasured friend
Take a moment and think about your friendships. Who is your kindred spirit, and who are your forever friends? What would you say are the qualities or characteristics of a friend? This month as we focus on love and relationships, take some time to write a note of gratitude to them, maybe with a homemade card.
Use the following words to help you start writing:
Love ❤ Loyal ❤ Forgiving ❤ Hospitality
Commitment ❤ Trustworthy ❤ Wise❤Accountability
Prayer Warrior❤Encourager❤ Laughter ❤ Teacher
Several years ago, while I was having lunch with friends, my friend’s husband prayed, “Thank You for these forever friends.” That sentence is one I’ve not forgotten. We were all in agreement. We were forever friends, not just here on our earthly journey, but throughout eternity!
With either a pen or a garden tool in her hand, Laura Lee focuses on her three passions: freelance writing, sharing and serving through hospitality, and cultivating Lady Laura’s Garden. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website, LauraLeeLeathers.com.
Scriptures on friendship
“He who covers a transgression seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates friends.” – Proverbs 17:9
“A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” – Proverbs 18:24
“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”– Proverbs 17:17
“As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” – Proverbs 27:17