What comes to mind when you see or hear the word ‘sister’?
Maybe you have a sister. Maybe have a couple best friends who have become like sisters to you. Maybe your sister is your best friend. Maybe your relationship with your sister is broken. Maybe you have more than one sister. If you’re like me, you don’t have a sister but you have a cousin you’ve been very close with since birth that may as well be your biological sister (hi, Em).
Lately, I’ve found myself thinking on my growth in terms of my relationship with Jesus these last couple years. One thing (among many) I’ve noticed has changed is an addition to my definition of a sister. This change has been exemplified to no end in recent months, and I have three words to share with you: Sister in Christ.
So, you beautiful daughters of the King, GET YOURSELF SOME SISTERS IN CHRIST.
What is a sister in Christ? A God-send, that’s for sure. I also had to giggle at myself because of how strongly this concept has been placed on my heart to write about recently, and I realized I sign all of my posts with “your sister in Christ”. I have always done this out of habit, but laughed at myself today for not truly grasping the meaning behind the signature all this time.
I’ve mentioned this before, but one of our church’s campuses had the opportunity to host Jennie Allen (a wonderful Christian author and speaker) on her tour last year. During her message, she talked about having women who love Jesus in your life that will metaphorically ‘get in the dirt’ with you. These women will go to spiritual war with you. They will support you, love you, correct you, pray over you.
In addition to that wonderful concept Jennie shared, I also just finished an incredible study of Esther with a group of amazing women. The author of this study is Beth Moore, who every woman needs to hear speak at least once. Beth breathes spiritual fire every session of the study about how it’s tough being a woman.
Ladies, I can’t even begin to explain how dearly I hold my sisters in Christ in my heart. I have come to know full well how great a gift they are from God. I have many reasons why I’m so passionate about this, but I have one reason that is particularly prominent: true sisters in Christ will always love you with a biblical love, not a worldly love.
What’s the difference?
One of the biggest differences I can easily point out to you is this phrase: “Just do what makes you happy!” Ever been told that before? Or, “Follow your heart”? I certainly have. And I have also said it without realizing what I’m actually saying. Let me break it down for you – we are sinners. Jeremiah 17:9 tell us, ‘The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” In Mark 7:20-23, Jesus says, “What comes out of person is what defiles them. For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come – sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person.” Wow. If we give our friends advice that comes strictly from our own hearts, we are doing them a great disservice, especially if we are in Christ.
When you tell a friend to follow their heart, you’re basically telling them to follow the most sinful part of themselves. I think that’s mind-blowing. Eye-opening. And even gut-wrenching when you truly think about it. God calls us to pursue holiness instead of our own selfish happiness. When you tell a friend to just do what makes them happy, that means you’re essentially telling them that their own worldly happiness trumps the holiness and sacrifice of our Savior. And I repeat, WOW.
Does that mean we don’t want good things for our friends? Not at all. It means, as true followers of Jesus, we understand that true joy comes from pursuing holiness and knowing Jesus. I would much rather support my friends in joy with an eternal perspective instead of placing all our happiness in the empty things of this world.
So, why do we need sisters in Christ?
Accountability. Having women on your side who know what God’s Word says about the way we live our lives. Women who aren’t afraid to help you with your personal demons. Friends who pray for your struggle, celebrate in your joy, and hold you accountable in your walk with Jesus all the while loving you unapologetically and unconditionally. Just as Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”
No compromising. Please understand this: friends who encourage you to do things that make you feel wrong are not friends at all. As many of us have heard, “Bad company corrupts good character,” (1 Corinthians 15:33). I know you may worry about losing friends in your life if you’re always telling them “no” when they ask you to do things. Will they stop asking you to hang out? Quite possibly. Will they assume that you think you’re “too good” and above them? Yes – I have lost friends that way. As time goes on and your relationship with Jesus grows more intimate and personal, you will understand just how important it is for you to say no. Another wonderful piece of instruction from Proverbs 13:20 says, “Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.”
Does this mean you have to completely stop seeing certain people in your life? No. We are called to love. You can still be a friend and love them without compromising your relationship with Christ. However, sometimes it may be necessary for us to decide it’s time to move on. Let me share with you something my husband and I always tell our high school youth at church – the moment your friends who are outside of Christ begin having more influence on you than you do on them as a believer is the moment you need to step back and evaluate. To paraphrase what Paul said in Ephesians, “darkness has no part in light, nor does light have any part in darkness – but rather it exposes it.”
We should look drastically different to those outside of Christ. If we are acting the same, using the same language, listening to the same filthy music, watching the same inappropriate shows and movies, then how can we show them Jesus through our life? How can we show them we are choosing to live our life differently if we don’t actually live our life differently?
Sisters in Christ refresh you. When you pour out to others in your life, your sisters in Christ will be there to help pour back into you. If you have them, cherish them. If you don’t, pray for some. Having sisters in Christ is something you do not want to miss out on, and I know they are yet another way God shows His wonderful and abounding love for us!
So, as I sign this post as your sister in Christ, I truly mean it. If I can pray for you, please let me know how. Get in touch with me – leave a comment on the blog or find my page (Words of a Wife Redeemed) on Facebook and message me privately. But most of all, I only want to remind you that Jesus loves you deeply and calls you his own!
Get. In. The. Dirt.
your sister in Christ – kayley jean, a wife redeemed