These days, people have begun to refer to their friends as their “squad.” An ideal squad looks perfect, does everything together and can conquer the world.
Honestly, the celebrity friend group phenomenon sets up targets no one can achieve in real life. Even Taylor Swift’s idealized #squadgoals fall apart somewhere. If I had the most perfect “squad” tomorrow, complete with flawless Instagram stories, it would not bring lasting satisfaction or joy.
I started thinking about what my actual squad goals would be and which people I would want in my real-life squad. What makes a squad that is lasting and encouraging and that will push me toward Jesus? So often, peer pressure pushes us toward the fading world. Who are the people pressing me to the eternal and to the One who matters most?
I’ve come up with a few people that I hope will always be in my squad.
I need people who will tell me what I need to hear even when it’s hard. These people poke and prod the parts of my heart that are a little tender. They do it in a way that isn’t about truth for truth’s sake; they speak with grace and love. Jesus always did this. He shared the truth out of His great love.
I need people in my life who don’t just hear me but listen and ask questions to know more. These are people who dig down deep into my heart, laugh with me, cry with me and celebrate alongside me. These people help carry the burdens of life. Christ calls us into community, and He calls us as the church to circle around each other, caring for one another.
Part of the blessing of learning about Christ and growing in my own walk with Him is getting to be on mission for Him daily. I hope to always be investing my life into others in some way. As I pour my life into others, I learn more about myself and God’s loving character.
I want to keep growing and learning more about the gospel. One of the best ways I can grow is by learning from someone who has already walked the path before me. I want to learn from people who can share their wisdom, as well as their mistakes. People who have experienced life can share the ways they have grown through the years. As I pour myself out into the lives of others, I need to also be learning from others.
One of my favorite ongoing text threads is with a few friends whom I share absolute nonsense with. We share banter, fun, laughter and ridiculous GIFs. Sometimes, it’s refreshing to the soul to just have fun! Laughter and fun are gifts from God.
Christ spent a lot of time with the tax collectors and sinners. It is often easy to hang out with people who are just like me. However, I learn so much from people who are different from me and see the world a little differently. People who have experienced life in a way that I never will challenge and shape me. Christ calls us to go out and share the gospel with the people around us. We can only do that by building relationships with the people around us.
Who are the people in your squad? Are there any gaps? One great way to meet people who will fill these roles is to become part of a Christian community. Find a Cru community near you.
Read more about the importance of relationships for life and spiritual growth.
About the author:
Melissa Thomas has been a Cru staff member since she graduated from Miami University of Ohio in 2006. After spending her first year doing campus ministry in Liverpool, England, Melissa spent nine years ministering to college students in Cincinnati, Ohio. She currently works at Cru’s headquarters in Orlando, Florida. She loves to cast vision for how God is working in the lives of college students across the globe. In her free time, Melissa enjoys all things coffee, exploring new places and learning about people’s stories.
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