Good Boundaries Make For Good Friends

Setting boundaries leads to healthy friendships.

Linn Winters
Sep 3, 2017    37m
In this part of the Friends With Benefits series, Linn Winters discusses setting boundaries on friendship. He uses the biblical story of Abigail and David to demonstrate a true friendship. Linn challenges us to look at the friendships in our life and ask ourselves, is this a person who shows up and helps guide me away from making bad decisions or is this person leading me to temptation and sin? The guiding friend should be welcomed into our inner circle. As for the latter type of friend, he encourages us to set boundaries with that friend so that their bad decisions don't become our burden. Video recorded at Chandler, Arizona.

messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Linn Winters: 00:01 Hey Cornerstone, how you doing, man? Hey, we're glad you're here. We're in a series called friends with benefits and uh, we've really been kind of in some ways redefining this whole thing and we were talking about, hey, what does it mean to have friends who benefit. Friends that because they were our friend, our life ends up different. Uh, we get to a different place because of their friendship and her life. And then kind of the converse of that, what does it mean for me to be a friend who benefits? So that people who would look back on their life and go, "Man, my best friend, the person who had the deepest impact the greatest influence my life was them. They were my best friend." And what does that look like? What does that mean? And so we've just been really, really unpacking a friendship together. So as we begin today, I just want to do a quick shout out to San Tan and to our Scottsdale campus, to the 5:00 PM people and then everybody that's over in the venue. Man, just thank you for being part of Cornerstone. And part of today's conversation.

Linn Winters: 01:05 OK, so here's the deal. I guarantee you that most of us in the room have friends. But you have you ever wondered and thought, how did I get the friends that I've got? You know, it's just because they showed up and refuse to go away? You know, how did I get the friends, uh, that I got? And are they healthy friends? Are they unhealthy friends? Because here's the deal. I guarantee you, if I were to ask and say, "Hey, is there someone in your life that you look back on and you go, boy, my friendship with them was powerful. And I mean, it was just so helpful. I can, I can look back at the season of our friendship and just say, man, my life propelled forward because of their influence, because of their contact with me. I mean they were just a great friend."

Linn: 01:49 But I'm equally sure that some of us could look back at some friendships and go, "Man, that friendship took me the wrong direction. Matter of fact, that friendship is filled with regret. And I kind of wonder where my life would be if I had never met that person. I wonder where I would be if when we first started, I had walked away and hadn't involved them so deeply in my life."

Linn: 02:17 And so they that begs the question that says, so how am I choosing my friends and how do people get to that place within my life? And what we're going to discover today is, you ready, that good boundaries actually make for good friendships. There was a passage in Proverbs Chapter 13, Verse 20. It simply says this, 'Walk with the wise and you'll become wise.' Walk with wise people and some of that wisdom is gonna rub off on you, and those types of people probably ought to be on the inside of your boundaries. Those are the people that ought to be invited to your inner circle of friends, to the inside of the fence, but their walk with fools be a companion of fools and you will have harm.

Linn: 03:10 You invite people who are living their life recklessly and foolishly and you just need to know their presence in you will bring you to harm. And they are the type of friends that you need to put on the outside of boundaries and not, not that you're being judgmental, not you're throwing anybody away. It's just you say, "Hey, look, the way you're living, the choices that you make, if I bring you into the inner circle of my life, I am going to live with some of the consequences some of the fall out. So here's the deal. I'm going to be your friend because I love you and care about you. But, but there's gonna be some distance here. There's going to be some rules within our friendship." Because, because, because good boundaries make for good friends.

Linn: 03:53 We've been doing this study and we'd been talking about the life of a guy by the name of David and one of the things that's just so remarkable about this guy's life is that at key moments, at critical moments in his life, there was a friend who stepped into that moment who had the right thing to say, treated David in the right way, turned them away from a mistake, pushed him into something that was a great decision in his life. And forever he's changed because of friendships.

Linn: 04:21 And today is no exception. We're going to unpack the story of a gal by the name of Abigail, who he meets for the first time and instantly becomes an amazing friend to him. It's an a moment when David is getting ready to do something that's rash. He's getting ready to make a mistake that will lead his life into regret. And Abigail steps into the moment and says, "Hey, David, David, David. Wait, before you do that." And her friendship models for you and me, the type of friend that we want on the inside of our boundaries and conversely gives us a way to define and say, "Hey, people that don't do that for me, probably belong on the outside of my boundaries in friendship."

Linn: 05:03 So grab your bibles and we're go there. It's First Samuel Chapter 25. If you're not real familiar, uh, if you go to the front of your Bible, work, uh, to the right, you're going to find this book of First Samuel. A First Samuel Chapter 25. While you're getting there. Let me set this up for you for a moment. We're tracking back in David's life. This is pre him being king. He's out living in the wilderness. Saul is chasing him and his band of merry men that are with him. And uh, he's been, uh, watching over and taking care of the sheep of a guy by the name of Nabal. There's lots of bandits in the area. There's lots of thieves who would steal and rustle the sheep. And so David and his men had been out of kindness guarding Nabal's sheep. So here we go. It's a first Samuel Chapter 25, starting in Verse 22. And here's what it says, 'A certain man in Maon a who had property there in Carmel was very wealthy. He had 1000 goats and 3000 sheep, which he was shearing in Carmel. His name was Nabal. And his wife's name was Abigail. She was intelligent and a beautiful woman, but her husband was surly and mean and his dealings. He was a Calebite.' Which is just old testament for he was from New York, good place to be from any.

Linn: 06:47 Anyways, uh, so here's what happens. David's men have been kind of helping his shepherds keeping watch over the flock. And, uh, now it's come the time for shearing. And typically what any owner of sheep would do at shearing is then that you would actually butcher some of the livestock and you would throw a big feast because you know, it's kind of a payoff moment for you. You're going to sell the wool and you take some of the sheep to slaughter and sell them at the market. And so usually this was a time of feasting. So David sends word to Nabal and says, "Hey, remember, remember that I had my men watch over your sheep. I kept them safe. While my men were watching your sheep you didn't lose a single sheep and I was just thinking that now that the harvest is coming in, that you would be willing to share some of your sheep with us so that we could feast too. To which as these men from David come to Nabal. Nabal says, "Why would I give David and my sheep? I mean, he's just an outcast anyways. He's just kind of a bag. Why? Why would I take some of what I have and give to him?" Because the bottom line is that Nabal is just an absolutely greedy, selfish kind of a guy. So now David's men return to him and say to him, "Hey, Nabal said, 'no chance, not interested'." And in that moment, David's just absolute fury rises up and he says, "Well wait, wait, wait. You mean that's how he's going to respond to me after the goodness I've done to him." He turns to his soldiers. He says, "All right, grab your sword. Because here's what we're gonna do. We're gonna go slaughter the House on Nabal. We're going to kill every male within their house. Every son, every uncle, every nephew, every one of their servants that are male, we're going to kill them all."

Linn: 08:36 And the reason you do that is because you're wiping this man's prodigy off the face of the earth. No one is ever going to remember Nabal because there's no one going to be left to carry on his name. And David now comes to attack Nabal. In that moment, Abigail, Nabal's wife, hears what has been done to David, how he's been slighted. And she sends out some food to David. She sends hundreds of loaves of bread. She sends sheep for that. She sends food to him and says, "Hey, look, I'm sorry I had no idea. Please, please, please take this gift. Turn from what you're getting ready to do."

Linn: 09:19 So that's where we pick it up. Uh, if you jump down to Verse 23. 'When Abigail saw David, she quickly got off her donkey. She bowed down before David with her face to the ground. She fell at his feet and said, "Pardon your servant, my Lord, and let me speak to you, to hear what your servant has to say. Pay No attention to my Lord, to that wicked man, Nabal. He is just like his name. His name means fool and folly goes with him. And as for me, your servant. I did not see your men that the Lord sent. And now my Lord is surely as the Lord your God lives. And as you live, since the Lord has kept you from bloodshed, from avenging yourself with your own hands. May your enemies and all who are intent on harming my lord be like Nabal. And let this gift of food that I've sent, which your servant has brought to my Lord. Be given to the men who follow you." Now jump down to Verse 29, even though this is Abigail still talking to David, 'Even though some one is pursuing you to take your life. The life of my Lord will be balanced securely in the bundle of the living by the Lord, your God. But the lives of your enemies he will hurl away as a pocket of a sling." It's interesting and we have no idea why Abigail uses illustration and say, "Hey, God is going to throw your enemies away the way a rock leaves a slingshot. And does she have any idea or has she heard the story of David slaying Goliath with a sling? We don't know, but it's an interesting comment. Verse 30, 'When the Lord has fulfilled for my Lord every good thing that he promised concerning him and his appointed him ruler over Israel, my Lord will not have on his conscience the staggering burden of needless bloodshed or of having avenged himself. And when the Lord your God has brought my Lord success remember your servant.'

Linn: 11:32 So here's the deal. In this moment, Abigail is going to so deeply model what a good friend does who's on the inside of our boundaries. That you and I are going to get this really, really powerful representation of who we ought to be inviting in as our friends and in postscript to that, people who don't behave that way, don't respond that way, are people who probably belong on the outside of our boundaries in friendship.

Linn: 12:01 Here's the first thing that Abigail does absolutely right. Abigail decides to take responsibility. She steps into a tough moment and think about it for a moment. She didn't cause the moment her husband does, and yet she sees something that's going wrong and she literally just steps in and says, "Hey, I can bring solution to this. I can be helpful to this, and she takes, she has the servants bring all the food. She has the servants take that to David, and then she personally goes to David and talks to him off the cliff of his decision of vengeance and she takes responsibility. This is in contrast of friends that you and I have who choose to live their lives in irresponsibility. OK, let me see if this helps. Abigail, Abigail steps into the moment, is helpful in the moment, rescues David, she takes responsibility on herself.

Linn: 13:07 I've got a friend and my friend is Cal Jernigan. Cal is the senior pastor over at Central. I don't know if you all know that, but we're really good friends. And there was a season in my life not too long ago in which there were a group of people I was really frustrated with me. Man, I know that's hard for you to believe that your a pastor would ever get frustrated with somebody. Maybe have a little bit of anger. I mean, I know that's hard. But in that moment I started seeking counsel. I started saying, "You know, hey, hey, what do I do?" And I had some friends who I think were trying to be my friend, but they just said, "Hey Linn, you're so right. You're so right in what you're thinking. They're so. Just do this. Just get even with them. Just go after him, just, you know, do whatever you need to do. Bring your vengeance on them." And then I called Cal. And I said, "Cal, here's what I'm going through. Most of my advisors were telling me you can go get these guys." And Cal said, "No, if you do Linn, that'll be huge regret in your life." And Cal chose to speak wisdom to me. He was the one advisor who told me something completely different than what everybody else was telling me and in the moment he said it, something in my heart said, that's wisdom.

Linn: 14:26 Cal was to me what Abigail was to David. He stepped in and you realize my problems weren't his problems. He had no responsibility to it and yet he chose to step in. This is in contrast to friends of ours who want to live their lives irresponsibility. OK? They want to make bad decisions. They want to make bad choices, and then they want to bring the consequences of their bad choices for you to fix. Ever had a friend like that? "Hey, I'm really, really struggling financially." And you go, "Really?" "Yeah, I'm, I'm, I going to have a hard time making my mortgage." And you're like, "Wow, man, I can't let that happen to my friend, right?" So you helped them out. Only to find out that a month ago they went to Disneyland. And you and I have friends who want to live life irresponsibility and then want to bring their hardship their burden, their responsibility and place it on you and me.

Linn: 15:26 Matter fact, grab your Bibles because Galatians gives you and I just really, really, really rough, good road map for dealing with this type of friend. It's Galatians, Chapter 6. And if you're not familiar to just go to the back of your Bible, work to the left. You're going to find this Book of Galatians. You get to the Book of Ephesians, keep going left. You're going to find Galatians. Galatians, Chapter 6, starting in Verse 2. Here's what it says. 'Carry' ready for this? 'Carry each other's burdens. And in doing this, you fulfill the law of Christ.' OK? So that part of the passage says you know when someone's hurting around you, when someone's struggling, carry their burdens. But jump to Verse 5, Verse 5 says, 'for every one should carry their own load.' And at first glance you and I go, "Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, wait a minute. It looks like scriptures contradicting itself. On the one side and said, hey, carry one another's burdens and turns around and says everybody should carry their own load." Here's the difference. A burden is when something unfair happened in my life. In another words, I didn't provoke it. I didn't make bad decisions. It simply is the circumstances of life overwhelming me. They are not of my making, it's just the crumminess of life.

Linn: 16:49 Hurricane Harvey is a perfect example of this. Why should I be responding to the people who are struggling? Because those people did not do that to themselves. Life has washed over them and scripture says in a moment like that, when you see a friend, when you see somebody around you and life has been unfair and circumstances have come and sideswiped them, then you carry one another's burdens. You step in because in that moment you look a ton like Jesus.

Linn: 17:20 So years ago I'm a taking a group and we're backpacking and Colorado. We're bouncing back and forth across the continental divide. We're doing this at altitude. And although we had all prepared and we had all packed as carefully as we possibly could, you get about three days in and that altitude is making everybody sick and so sure enough you had people that literally would stop and sit down and just go, "I don't think I could go any further. It's so hard to breath. My body is so weak in this moment. I think I'm cooked. You just come and get me on the way back down the mountain." And in that moment, without any prompting, it was just such a powerful thing to see, I watched students go to the person who was struggling and say to them, "Give me the heaviest thing in your pack. Give me your camp stove. Give me your tent." And I watched students take their burden and put it in their pack. And that's, that's, that's what scripture saying. Matter of fact, that night when we got to the campfire, we had this amazing Bible study again, which I said, "Guys, you realize what we just did on the trail for one another, that's Bible. That's what scripture compels you and I to do in the lives of other people when their burdens become too heavy."

Linn: 18:37 Contrast that with somebody who's chosen to make reckless decisions. Who's just said, look, I'm looking to live my life in ways that are unwise and foolish, and then I'm going to ask other people to carry my burden for me. Which is what Verse 5 says, no, no, no, no. You say to them, "Carry your load. You made your load. Carry you load." So a couple years later on a backpack trip and uh, we're going along, same moment comes. We've got a guy on the trip, his name is Jim, and Jim begins to say, "Look, I'm, I'm, I don't think I can go any further. I'm absolutely exhausted. My package too heavy. I'm getting blisters on my feet." And so I watched again as students came around him to carry his load. And here's the irony of the moment. Jim was probably one of the most athletic guys on the whole trip. He was one of the stronger, larger guys on the trip and he's the guy struggling and I watched little girls. I watched Tammy walk over to them and say, "I'll carry your, give me your camps stuff." And they took his stuff. So again, we had that Great Bible study, boy that was just like Jesus, got to the end of the trip, gets to the last night, so it's last night, were hiking out to the bus the next day and Jim pulls out of his backpack a six pack of coke. "You had a six pack of coke in your backpack?" "Yeah." "You made that decision? You let little girls carry your stuff so that you can carry a six-pack of coke?" "Yeah" And you want to hear worse as he broke open the six pack do you think he gave any of that to the people who carry his load? He gave it to all his friends. And in Christian love. I walked over and just no I did, I did. It's what I wanted to do, it's what I wanted to do. And here's the deal, guys here ready for this? I guarantee you some of you have Jim's in your life. You got people who are making bad decisions and then when that decision gets a little bit heavy, they're wanting to come to you and say, "Hey, carry my load." And scripture saying, "Hey, you run into someone like that and you're going to have to start putting up boundaries. You're going to have to say, look, look, look, you're still, you're still my friend. I still love, but now there are some rules and one of the rules is I will not make up for your silly actions. You get to do that yourself."

Linn: 21:09 Let. Let me tell you why this is really, really critical. Let me, let me give you a few things. When irresponsible people, people who've made bad decisions, want you to come and carry their load, if you do that for them, you become God for them. And it's easier to trust you than it is to trust their Heavenly Father. Psychologists call it enabling. But the reality is you're becoming the physical God in their life in the moment when they should be trusting the real God in their life. Because you're their enabler. Bad decisions you made up for him. Moms and dads, can I just tell you that one of the most reckless things and it is not friendship for your child, is when they do stupid things and you go defend them and you pay the bill. You take the burden off of them. In that moment you become God. And then you wonder why. When they're an adult, they have a hard time trusting God because they never had to. They always trusted mom and dad.

Linn: 22:19 Another reason this is a horrible decision. If you take people in who live responsibly and then you bring them into the inner circle of your life, you realize their chaos is going to become your chaos. It's what proverbs said in Proverbs 13 when it said, "Hey, the companion of fools will suffer harm and if you live in close proximity and you don't have good boundaries, rules for the friendship that says, when you make bad decisions, I'm not going to clean up your bad decision. Then you'll be left with someone who goes, 'If you're really my friend, you'll help me right now.'"

Linn: 22:53 And then finally, what if their trouble? What if the thing that's going on in their life is actually a teaching moment from God? What if it's a spanking from God and you intervene and take it away? Then you're really stepping between them and a spanking. And I'm just telling you, if you do, you may be the one who ends up getting the spanking. It's just it's just a horrible decision and it's why you and I have to be careful to say, "Look, there are certain people who live a life of responsibility to do what they need to do. Those people I'm keeping in my life. But people who want to live life irresponsibility, I refuse for them to put their irresponsibility on me. That's not friendship and I'm going to create boundaries. It's not that I'm going to judge them or stop being there. I'm just going to say, look, there's some rules in our friendship and one of the rules is your bad decisions aren't my burden.

Linn: 23:50 So let me ask you a question? Do you have friends right now who living within recklessness are trying to make you carry their burden? Turn it the other way. Have you made decisions that were not wise and you're asking others to carry it? That's not being a good friend.

Linn: 24:17 Second thing in the story, second thing that Abigail does that is just so remarkable in the story is this Abigail steps up in the moment and she goes to David and says, "David, David, David, wait a minute, wait a minute. If you do this, it's going to fill your life with regret." And think about, think about how powerful this woman's words are when she goes to David. She says, "David, think about this for a minute. You've been living for God right up until now. Matter of fact, as Saul has pursued you, you've had so many opportunities to get even with him and you've chosen not to do that because you knew that was the wrong thing to do. And yet in this moment, in your theory and anger at Nabal, you're choosing now to get vengeance. Do you realize that when God puts you on the throne, you're going to have a completely clean conscience except this one moment."

Linn: 25:23 She says to David, "Please, please, please don't do that to yourself." And here's what you see in the moment. Abigail is a friend who leads her friend David away from temptation. David is a feeler. He's filled with anger and frustration at Nabal, and he's going to go wipe him out. And in that moment, Abigail, in absolute friendship says, "David, David a whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. I know this is tempting. I know this is what you want to do, but this is filled with regret. Don't do it." Which stands in stark contrast to friends who lead us into temptation. And I'm just telling you today, if you've got a friend who leads you away from temptation, that friend belongs in your inner circle. They don't have the same weakness you do. They're strong when you're not strong. They see, they belong in your inner circle.

Linn: 26:18 So years ago, I'm, I'm in Bible College and I'm, I'm working on a freight dock to kind of earn money. So we're working pretty late into the night and uh, on this particular night, my friend David Clarnow and I were riding home and in front of us there's a jeep with the top down. And I turned to my friend David and I said, "David, I think there's two girls in that jeep." And he said, "Uh, yeah, I think so too." And I said, "I don't think they're wearing anything on top." And he says, "Oh, no, no, no, no." I go, "No, really, I don't think they're wearing on top." So David speeds up, pulls one side, speeds up, and sure enough we get alongside of these two girls in their top down. They're going, "Hey" and waving to us. In that moment, David hits the gas. He must've looked like the biggest goobers right? I turned it to David, I said, "David, we're missing an opportunity here. Apparently those poor girls don't have anything to wear. We should have helped them." To which my friend David said, "No chance." You know what's interesting is that all through my teenage years, I stayed pure. I hadn't messed with anyone. And I know you're going to go, "Well Linn, that's cause you're a pastor." I wasn't a pastor when I was a teenager. And now I get to this moment and I was ready to do something that I would've regretted and my friend David steered us out of danger. And I'm just telling you guys, if you've got a friend like that, who in your weakest moments is the one that stands strong, that friend belongs in your inner circle. That so the one you say, "OK, I'm doing life with you inside here."

Linn: 28:23 Contrast that with a friend who leads you towards sin. A friend whose presence in your life tends to take you off the tracks of life. Matter of fact, grab your Bibles real quick. Go with me to Deuteronomy, Chapter 13. If you're not familiar, Deuteronomy's in the Old Testament. So we're going to go to the front of our Bible again. Start working into the right Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy. Deuteronomy, Chapter 13, Verse 6. Here's what it says, OK? 'If your very own brother or your son or your daughter or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you saying, "Let's go worship other gods." Gods that neither you nor your ancestors have known, gods of the people around you, whether near or far from one end to the land of the other. Do not yield to them or listen to them. Show them no pity. Do not spare them or shield them.' Look, I don't. I don't care who it is. I don't care if it's your wife. I don't care about your son. I don't care if it's your best friend. If that best friend is somebody who leads you away from God, who leads into temptation, then God says, "Look, look, look, look, look. Don't spare them that." That's a person in your life, OK? Apparently it was a couple in your life who belonged on the outside. There's someone that you just have to say, "Hey, look, I still love you. Don't get me wrong. I love you, but I'm just telling you there's some rules now. There are some places I'm not going with you. When you go there, there are some conversations I'm not having with you when you begin to talk about that. There are some rules now. There's some boundaries in our relationship."

Linn: 30:26 Guys. Here's the deal. There is a really, really good chance whoever that friend is who kind of lead you into temptation, it's not cause they're just a vial, evil person. It's not because they are trying to destroy your life. Chances are it's just that's the direction they're taking. That's where they're going with their life and they just want you to go along with them because you're their friend. So they're inviting you to do it with him.

Linn: 30:55 My son, Joshua, as he was growing up was just an amazing kid and really not much work at all and made wonderful decisions in his life. Right up until his junior year of high school and he started hanging out with a kid that will just call Jeff. And it was interesting because he started making all sorts of horrible decisions in his life and we couldn't quite figure it out because we're going just seems like such a great kid. This kid would walk in and go, "Yes, Mr. Winters, yes, Mrs. Winters." We knew Jeff went to church at another church. That was probably the problem. But anyway. Anyway, I'm teasing. And we just. But we saw Josh making consistently bad decisions and then, uh, all the sudden Jeff and Josh weren't friends anymore. And so years later I went back to Josh. I said, "Josh, I know there was a season in your life. You were doing some stuff he shouldn't do. Seemed like you were hanging out with Jeff. And then all of a sudden you and Jeff weren't friends anymore. What, what happened?" And he said, "Dad well here's the story. Jeff, when we'd get off he would just constantly kind of pushed me towards stuff I shouldn't do. And I was doing it. That was part of our friendship. And then there came this moment when Jeff turned 18 and he came to me and you said, 'Hey, I want to go to a strip club.' To which I said (this is Joshua speaking) I can't do that. I'm not willing to do that. So there was this night I was spending the night at his house and he went to his mom, said, 'Hey, we all want to go out and do some skateboarding.' So here it is, it's me and a couple of friends. And then his little brother who's 13 and we all hopped in a car. We drive to the skate park, but instead of going to the skate park, he pulls into a strip club and he turns to me after he parks the car and he says to me, 'Josh, I knew you wouldn't come if I you where we were going. So I brought you here anyways.' " And in that moment my son looked at his friend and said, "I'm not going in." And he sat for the next 7 hours in the car. And he said, "Dad, when he came out at 4:00 in the morning when we were driving home, I knew Jeff was not my friend anymore. Or if he was there was going to be a whole new set of rules in our relationship."

Linn: 33:21 So let me ask you a question. Are there people in your life who, because of where they are in your life, you ended up in the wrong places? You ended up saying things you shouldn't be saying? Doing things you shouldn't do? Thinking things you shouldn't be thinking, and just because you got a friend who really needs a boundary and you've left them on the inside?

Linn: 33:55 If you go back to the passage, let me just read this for you. It's the conclusion of the story of Abigail and David. Here's what David says to Abigail. 'David said to Abigail, praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel who has sent you to be my friend, has sent you to me. May you be blessed for your good judgment and for keeping me from bloodshed this day and from avenging myself with my own hands. Otherwise as surely as the god of Israel lives who has kept me from harming you. If you had not come quickly to meet me, no one male belonging to Nabal would have been left alive until daybreak.' Thank you. Thank you for being a friend who carried a burden that she didn't have to carry and helped me in a moment, but she didn't have to help. Thank you for being a friend who pushed me away from sin instead of into sin.

Linn: 35:12 Let's pray. Here's what I'm going to ask you to do. With our heads bowed and our eyes closed. How have your friends that are friends to be your friends? Has it been flew thoughtfulness or has it simply been first come first serve? And what would it mean in this moment to simply go before God and ask this question, God, who belongs on the inside with me? Who are those friends whose wisdom and who's impacted my life enhanced my life on my walk with you? And my guess is that as you ask that God will literally bring faces to your mind. These are the people you ought to be walking with. And then the second question? Hey God, who in my circle of friends need to be friends on the other side of boundaries? Not that I don't love them, not that I'm throwing them away, but I've got to have some rules in this friendship because their friendship is affecting me the wrong way. So I choose to have boundaries with my friends.

Linn: 36:26 Dearest heavenly father, we simply come to the moment and God and we're beginning to understand that this whole thing of friendship is huge and our life changes based on our friends and so God, I'm going to ask that you would give us today the courage, the courage to ask you who belongs in and who should be those on the other side of boundaries and rules and parameters in my life.

Linn: 36:56 God, this may, this may involve a couple of cups of coffee. It might involve going to someone who we haven't necessarily brought real close to say, hey, I need you more involved in my life. And it may be a cup of coffee with a friend that says, Hey, I want to be your friend. I love you, but we're going to have rules now in our friendship boundaries as we do friendship. God help us to do this, really, really, well. In this we pray. Amen.

Recorded in Chandler, Arizona.
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Cornerstone Church
1595 S Alma School Road
Chandler, Arizona 85286