“We have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus…cleanses us from all sin.” 1Jn 1:7 NLT

The Bible says, “Better a nearby friend than a distant family” (Pr 27:10 TM). Sometimes it’s easier to develop close friendships with those outside your immediate family circle. But there’s another kind of “blood relative” mentioned in the Bible: brothers and sisters joined together through the blood of Jesus (See 1Jn 1:7). It’s the kind of relationship that doesn’t allow you to go off and do your own thing (See Col 3:15 TM). It requires us to “do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with…honor” (Jas 3:18 TM). It calls for a long-term commitment not readily understood by the “me generation,” where, when the going gets tough it’s acceptable to bail out of a relationship and move on. One pastor points out that the world doesn’t understand the Christian concept of brotherhood and sisterhood: “It says find friends among like-minded, like-income people who vote like you and have the same golf handicap. These friendships work until the bottom falls out of your life, you face a pressing problem, or a tragic loss, or a serious illness, and suddenly you realize that no one cares much about you. Why? Because you’ve made no investment in anybody’s life, and now when you need to make a withdrawal there’s no money in the friendship bank.” Sacrificial love is the foundation of true friendship. Paul writes, “I have no one else like Timothy, who genuinely cares about your welfare. All the others care only for themselves…But you know how Timothy has proved himself” (Php 2:20-22 NLT).