You disclose struggles, pray for each other, confess sins, erase secrets, stay accountable and pull each other closer to God.
Over the last few weeks, we’ve been talking about the Epidemic of Loneliness in the world today and how understanding the 5 Levels of Friendship can unlock depth in our relationships. Here they are all together now…
Level 1 – Casual Friendship – This is a guy you’ve met and may or may not remember his name.
Level 2 – Basic Friendship – You act friendly, barely connect and speak about the usual stuff on the surface level only.
Level 3 – Good Friendship – You’re close enough to joke around and open up a bit. There’s some trust…and some caution. He knows you a little, but nothing really personal or deep.
Level 4 – Strong Friendship – You trust each other. You talk about meaningful parts of your life. You’re open, but not completely open. You’d call him at 2am in a crisis, but you don’t know what’s going on with each other by checking in consistently.
Level 5 – Deep Friendship –This friendship adds a purposeful commitment to meet and consistently connect. You disclose struggles, pray for each other, confess sins, erase secrets, stay accountable and pull each other closer to God.
In the most recent blog,we started to unpack the description of Level 5 Friendship. You’ll notice that the first sentence describes the conditions to achieve it. Three C’s if that helps you remember…
The Three C’s of Forging Level 5 Friendship
Now, let’s look at that second line of Level 5: You disclose struggles, pray for each other, confess sins, erase secrets, stay accountable and pull each other closer to God.
These are the weekly behaviors of deep friends. It takes investment, but is totally worth the sacrifice.
The 5 Things You’ll Sacrifice for Level 5 Friendship
Prioritizing Yourself – From families to careers, many men already take care of so much. They’re understandably protective of their free time. But you’ll have to give some time to be in community with others. You might have to miss a few hours of watching college football on the couch to be there for a buddy when he needs a hand.
Your Image – This one’s harder to give up, but it’s not real anyways. You’ll have to give up control over how you present yourself to the world—how you want to be perceived. Many of us are obsessed with it. You’ll have to give it up to disclose your struggles and confess sins.
Your Half-Truths and Guilty Pleasures – Many guys have great intentions, but they slip into compromises and half-truths. They tell lies to get away with things. Or maybe they’ll lie to themselves. “It’s okay to do this because…” or “I’ll only do this one time” or “Some guys are doing much worse…” to justify what they know is wrong. They’re more likely to give in to sinful desires. They don’t tell anyone partly because the short-term consumer in him wants to continue. But freedom for what’s best requires erasing secretsand living in the light.
Your Complicity – Many men make excuses for the negative behaviors of other guys to avoid their own stuff. But real men hold self and others accountable.
Your Defenses – There’s no way you can do any of this with your guard up. You’ll have to do something that’s initially uncomfortable—trust what God thinks about you and be vulnerable to friends.
It might seem like a lot and feel difficult, but it’s worth it. Especially when you look at what it leads to.
The 5 Things You’ll Gain From Level 5 Friendship
Total Honesty – With these guys, you’ll never have to worry if they’re telling you the truth or not. You can rely on their perspective and wisdom to understand your life and improve.
Unconditional Support – There’s nothing you can do or say that will make these guys stop being there for you. You have each other’s back.
Lifelong Bonds – You’ll have guys in your corner at all times—to enjoy and celebrate the good times, and prayerfully support you through the toughest times.
Fun – It’s brotherhood, camaraderie and laughter. You’ll have inside jokes, great times together and great memories.
Purpose – You’ll help each other grow closer to God and transform into better versions of yourself.
Jeff Kemp was an NFL Quarterback and has extensively been involved in ministry, coaching, speaking and team building since his professional sports retirement. Jeff and his wife, Stacy, have been married 35 years and mentor young couples. They have four married sons and love tennis, skiing, and spending time with family. Find out more about Jeff and his ministry at his website.