Christian comedians Tommy Woodard and Eddie James, more known as "The Skit Guys," have been friends for 30 years and have a wealth of wisdom to offer on how to maintain long-lasting friendships that are rooted in God.
The duo published a book titled "Smells Like Bacon: The Skit Guys Guide to Lifelong Friendships" on Aug. 17, the Christian Post reported. The book educates readers how to establish long-lasting friendships and emphasizes the value and rewards of friendship while adding comedy to the subject.
Both guys agree that for a friendship to endure, there are three elements that are necessary: time, trust, and transparency.
To establish a long-lasting relationship, Woodard and James believe that the first "T," which is time, implies that individuals need to go through a process that requires time to get to know one another and find out what they appreciate about one another.
Trust, they said, is a need for any connection to go beyond the level of a casual acquaintanceship.
Lastly, they stressed the need of "transparency," noting that it will only feel secure if time and trust have previously been built up in a relationship.
In terms of personal development, James said "Godly friendships are huge as far as growth as a human being. ... You have to know the other person has your back, no matter what."
"It's not just about telling each other deep and dark secrets; it's also about being who you really are and being vulnerable," he added.
"All the years that we've been on the road doing live shows, the thing we hear the most are questions about our friendship since high school. ... It takes work and sacrifice of time and energy to be a good friend to someone," Woodard noted. "We like to say that we're not the funniest guys, we're not the best actors, we're just a couple of best friends who do skits, and people seem to want to be part of our friendship."
The long-time friends claimed that using the Bible as a guide on how to conduct "godly" relationships had helped them sustain a decades-long friendship and kept it from coming to a sudden end.
In James' view, Hebrews 10:24 reminds believers how important it is to motivate one another by offering words of encouragement, but also by pushing one another to do better the next day with "love and good deeds." He went on to say that friends should aim to "grow in Christ" with one another by putting the other person's needs ahead of their own.
"The facets of two people who are trying to grow in Christ takes the focus off 'What is this friend doing for me 24/7?' and instead makes us think, 'If this friend is a gift from God, I want to be responsible with that person. These types of relationships make us better - 'spur us on,'" he said.
Woodard added that Jesus exemplified "true friendship" throughout His ministry, particularly in His interactions with His followers, which may serve as a model of "godly friendship."
While the guys are renowned for their friendship, they have had their highs and lows throughout the years, including periods when they were not as diligent in holding one another accountable.
"There have been times when we've been unhealthy for each other, like when we would finish a gig and then order two pizzas and two 2-liter sodas and each eat an entire pizza," James recalled. "But we've always strived to make sure our friendship has been healthy."
They said that healthy friendships need active listening and a genuine interest in what the other person has to say. They've admitted their mistakes and forgiven one another throughout the years, shared one another's triumphs, and never abandoned one another. Additionally, they have reportedly sought to direct one another to Christ.
"If people find themselves in a friendship where any of those things is missing, it might be worth looking a little closer at the relationship and see if there's something that can be done to improve the friendship," James added, with Woodard nodding in agreement.