Friendship & Community

Let’s have a little bible discussion about some topics that teenagers (and adults) deal with almost on a daily basis. The two topics we will talk about today are cliques, and making fun of people. These are two things that are very easy to do and to follow in other people’s footsteps when they do it. First let’s talk about cliques and friendships.

Cliques are everywhere. In the schools, in the workplaces, stores, they are everywhere. Sometimes we don’t even realize them. But are cliques good? Are they something we as Christians should be involved in? Well not necessarily, but it is good to have friends to count on. But we must be careful not to always follow everything the peers in our cliques do. Let’s look at a couple of verses. 1 Corinthians says this, “I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.” Now specifically here, Paul is talking about church divisions. But we can just as easily apply this verse to cliques that we make. Cliques are usually thought of in a negative sense. They only include the people they want and shut out the one’s they don’t. But Paul says here that there must be no dividing among us. We should not “close the doors” if you will, on those who want to be apart of something. It is better if we are not involved in cliques, that way everyone is welcome into our life. Now a group of friends is fine, we should have friends, but we must be aware of those situations in which we shut out others.

Now making fun of people. It is something we all know is wrong and it hurts when someone does it to us. But sometimes we do it and we don’t even realize it. It takes a lot of time and self-examination to realize that you might be making fun of someone. Listen to the conversations you have with people. Afterwards think about, if at any time, did you make fun of someone? Did something you say might have hurt them in any way? We must be careful about the words we say. Ephesians 4:29 says this, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Paul says only encouraging things should come out of our mouth. The things we say should only encourage and build one another up. Not slander them, and make them feel they are worth nothing. James 3:9-12 says, “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. Can both freshwater and saltwater flow from the same spring? My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.” We curse people with the same tongue that we praise God with. We cannot do this. If we praise God, only encouragement and blessing should come out of our mouths.

Romans 12:2 states, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” We must always be careful not to conform to what the world says or do. If someone is making fun of someone or not allowing them into a group, be the one to stand out. We were made to be different and if we don’t do the things the world does and do God’s will, we will be different and stand out.     

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