Friendships are difficult.
Sometimes it can seem as if friends are more work and pain than they're worth, with friendship challenges that we have to endure and struggle through. Life gets in the way of our well-intentioned efforts to connect. Conflicts and differences over serious issues divide us and make us think that we could never be close to a person ever again. In today's cancel culture, it's easy to give up on people and just walk away, leaving us all more isolated than before. How can we build real relationships that are life giving and pass the test of time?
Bryan Loritts mines one of the Bible's least-known books for insights into how friendships can flourish even in the midst of sin and brokenness. With careful exposition and insight, he unpacks how the apostle Paul helped Philemon and Onesimus reconcile a most unlikely relationship with truth, repentance, and grace. With God’s work and steadfast love, even the most painful relationships that have ruptured are not beyond the reach of forgiveness and reconciliation. Discover how friendships that are hard can be transformed into friendships that endure.
"Bryan is painfully honest about the challenge of long-term friendships. Yet you read this book and come away burning with desire to bare your soul to another in love. . . . I walked away from reading Enduring Friendship not only recaptured by the beauty of the gospel, but also deeply moved by the power of grace."
"Let's face it, the statistics are not good about grownups, especially men, and their ability to maintain close friendships outside their family. Bryan Loritts confronts this reality with a book-length antidote to a growing culture of friendless lives. His blunt honesty, practical remedy, biblical fidelity, and heart of charity will leave you hopeful that indeed, friendships new and old can endure."
"Friendships are difficult to navigate; friendships among believers in Christ are no less difficult. They may even be more difficult as there is a level of accountability built into that friendship based on a mutual desire to live out the mandate to be like Christ. Dr. Loritts masterfully and lovingly leads us by way of careful exegesis through the powerful letter of Paul to Philemon. I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to strengthen a friendship or repair a ruptured one."
Introduction: From "I Will" to "I Did"
1. Why Friendships Are So Hard
2. Cultivating Friendship
Part 1: Truth
3. Halos and Horns
4. Risky Truth: Facing Up to the Beast
5. The Problem with Winning
Part 2: Repentance
6. The Long Walk Back to Colossae
8. The Calvary Way
Part 3: Grace
10. The Fulcrum of Grace
11. Useless to Useful
12. What If?