This past weekend, I went to a men’s retreat in the mountains with my church. I had a wonderful time getting away and focusing on the theme of “Brotherhood.” We studied the life of David and discussed the meaning of being a true brother/friend.

When thinking about brotherhood, sports teams and sports locker rooms come to mind. Each year most winning teams have an incredible bond as teammates. I think that was true for both the Cavs and Broncos who won championships this year.

When I interview former athletes and ask them what they miss the most about playing, they almost always talk about the camaraderie as teammates. An environment for brotherhood is created by sports because players must stick together for success, build each other up, step up when a guy is struggling, and share the experience of wins and losses.

 As sports fans, we look on and watch our favorite players embrace the brotherhood of a team. Whether we admit it or not, deep down we long for that…especially when sitting on our couch alone.

The good news is, we don’t have to be on a sports team to experience the type of deep relationships we desire. However, having true friends or brothers involves effort, transparency, initiative, and accountability.

As followers of Jesus, we should seek out friendships with other followers so we can encourage, challenge, and inspire one another to grow in our love and understanding of God. We need to rely on each other during the wins and losses in life.

We benefit from deep relationships where we are committed to sticking together, building each other up, praying for one another, and being there when a brother is struggling.

The Bible says in Proverbs 17:17 (NLT), “A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.”

Sometimes we think we can go through this life on our own, trying to be tough, fighting our own battles, and downplaying our need for help. But, just like a winning team recognizes the value of having each other, we too can benefit from our reliance on others.

We have to stop making excuses about being too busy for friends or believing the lie that nobody cares about our burdens. Today, let’s be encouraged to embrace brotherhood and be intentional about developing genuine relationships, so we can point each other toward Jesus and support one another during times of need. I’m Bryce Johnson and you can unpack that!

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I pray that I would be intentional about being a good friend and find great brotherhood. I pray my relationships would be genuine, transparent, and compassionate. Help me to carry my friends’ burdens with them, but ultimately lay them at Your feet. I’m thankful I don’t have to go through this life alone, so please help me to let my friends in even more. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.