Letter #5: Choose Your Friends Wisely
by Jonathan Haefs
I was so glad to hear that your move to Birmingham went well! As I write this, you will be trying to get a full night of sleep in preparation for your seminary orientation tomorrow morning. I wonder if excitement or dread will keep you awake? Perhaps a little of both…hahaha.
I should have written this letter sooner, because tomorrow you will begin making some of the most important decisions of your seminary career. What am I talking about? Well, simply put, tomorrow you will begin choosing friends.
We’ve talked about the importance of choosing good professors to pour into your life, but even more important will be your choice of friends…I mean your close friends. These will be your brothers and sisters in the trenches of rigorous theological training. Your lives will bond together in a unique way that can only be experienced at seminary.
Long after the classes are over and you only speak with your favorite professor every now and again, your friends will still be ever-present in your life (if you are as fortunate as I). You will laugh with these people, cry with them, study with them, learn with them, minister, counsel, joke, bleed, and do life with them.
My closest friends from seminary now live all over the country, with only a few exceptions, and yet they still have an incredible impact on my heart and life. They are the first people I turn to for prayer, for advice, for a laugh, and they never fail to make me want to know Jesus more and more.
I cannot tell you exactly who to choose, but might I suggest you look for people who love Jesus deeply, but do not take themselves too seriously. I was so blessed to have friends who were just as comfortable debating about different theories of the atonement or if spider-man could win a fight against one guy with an army of babies. And, yes…that is a real conversation that took place.
You will rely on these friends for more than you know! You will need them to help you dive deep into study, all-the-while helping to keep you sane! I would study for hours with my friends, but we would also have the occasional break to throw fruit, play hall ball, or have larva fights (don’t ask).
I can honestly say I would not have made it through seminary without these guys, and at least one of them would not have made it without me. Jonathan, for the next 3-4 years you will make all sorts of choices. You will choose classes, profs, books, ministry positions, etc. However, I honestly believe that the most important choice you will make is who will be your friends.
Choose your friends wisely.
Grace and Peace,
*To know/understand the premise behind these letters please click here.