True Friendship

“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” — Galatians 6:2

by Matthew Crouch

Over the years Laurie and I have been incredibly blessed with some wonderful friends who really love the Lord and help us to love Him more, too. Their presence in our lives really makes a difference. I think particularly of folks like Joel and Victoria Osteen (with Laurie and me in the great picture above), whose lives both public and private are such an inspiration and example to us. It’s clear when you spend any amount of time with these true servants of God that they take seriously Christ’s command that we “love one another” (John 13:34). Their friendship over the years has encouraged Laurie and me in so many ways, as well as spurred us on to new levels of faith and commitment in our own lives.

Greg and Cathe Laurie are another great example of friends who have committed themselves to loving like Christ loves. A couple of weeks ago when Laurie and I were called out of town on ministry travel, Greg and Cathe kindly stepped in to host our daily TBN program Inside the Trinity Family of Networks. Little did any of us know that just hours before the show was taped on December 2nd, the nearby community of San Bernardino, California would be the target of a horrendous attack that took the lives of fourteen individuals and wounded over twenty others.

Greg and Cathe Laurie.
Greg and Cathe Laurie.

Having been on the receiving end of tragedy and loss with the death of their own son a few years ago, Greg and Cathe were perfectly positioned that day to be on-air ambassadors of God’s grace and mercy to hurting and confused viewers. With the hearts of pastors, they ministered God’s peace to those fearful at the alarming news reports of a possible “terrorist” attack, and assurance that God had everything under control. That day Laurie and I were once again grateful for godly friends who were committed to “fulfilling the law of Christ” by being there to bear the burdens of many in that special time of need.

Friendships like these, and others that you might not know the names of, remind me that in each of our lives God places a few key individuals whom He uses to help make us more like His Son. They mentor, encourage, challenge, and cheer us on like “iron sharpening iron.” As the writer of Hebrews puts it, they stir us up to “love and good works” (Hebrews 10:24). They may bring needed correction from time to time, or a word in due season to help us stay on course. More than anything, as good friends they’re steady and consistent, examples through word and deed of what it means to be a lifetime follower of Christ.

For Laurie and me, it is our ongoing prayer that the Trinity Broadcasting Family of Networks will continue to be just such a source of encouragement, mentoring, inspiration, and friendship to our viewers on every continent — as well as to the untold millions of individuals and families around the world who are in need of the message of hope and healing through Christ that TBN broadcasts every day. Will you join us in that prayer — and will you help us fulfill the command to take His love to the nations as friends, brothers, and sisters in Christ?

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