Our human nature causes us to seek friends and companions on the basis of our own needs. We choose to be with people who will support us, make us feel good and encourage us. We build relationships in which we can be comfortable and enjoy ourselves. However, in making relationship choices we are to look at the pattern set by Christ and seek to be led by the Spirit.

Christ chose to form relationships with certain people, but his choices were based on their needs, not his. He went into the homes of publicans and sinners because they needed him and his message. He met at night with Nicodemus because Nicodemus needed answers. He chose to remain at the well in Samaria because a woman needed spiritual insights.

We need to be continually in prayer about our relationship choices. If we are in close daily contact with Christ He will become our companion and friend. This will free us to reach out to others on the basis of their needs.

This is part of what Paul had in mind when he said that our life should be a living sacrifice to the Father. He was calling us to surrender our desires, priorities and time on the altar of redemptive, supportive relationships. Then we will be free to encourage and comfort others in the same way Christ helps us.

Jesus calls us to be consecrated servants, not comfortable sponges. He set the pattern we are to follow when he said he came “to look for….people who are lost.” (Luke 19:10 CEV)