Every week, it’s so inspiring to see the wealth of wisdom and knowledge that is shared using the Internet every day. So, every Friday we round up a few of our favorite items – photos, videos, articles, quotes and blog-posts – in the hopes that you will be as encouraged and inspired by them as we are.

This week, we’re focusing on relationships: with the poor and disenfranchised, with ourselves, with God, with our political leaders and of course, in our friendships. What relationship is God calling you into this week?

When you have no confidence…

In this post, Nicole Unice points out an often-overlooked truth: that all of our accomplishments and feelings of self-esteem can’t make us whole. “Being 100% confident in Christ means becoming part of something bigger than ourselves. We throw away our little plans and become part of his big plan. We become just a part of the big deal that God’s doing around us, rather than thinking that we ourselves are the big deal.”

How can you throw away your plans and become confident in God instead?

How to be a really good friend.

This is an open and raw story of loneliness, hope and redemption through sacrifical friendship: “I will never, ever forget her act of loving kindness to me that evening. Maybe it’s something silly, to be so immeasurably grateful to someone to using their own sleeves to wipe your tears and snot, but it truly grabbed ahold of my heart and whispered, ‘you are not disgusting.’”

How can you be this kind of friend to someone this week?

We loved this video from Create Common Good. How can you use food and hospitality to serve someone else this week?

What keeps us from God? I’m not the type…

Blogger Ed Cyzewski writes honestly about his struggles as he strives to follow God, and how he overcomes his impulse to compare his life with others: “We see these amazing saints in the history of Christianity moving mountains, and sometimes it’s hard to relate to them. There’s no question that I want to live as an obedient disciple. I just have an inferiority complex, especially when I see what other Christians have done or are doing.”

Do you ever struggle with feeling far from God? Is it because you struggle, as Ed does, with comparisons to others?

Inauguration and the need for a King

Donald Miller writes about the recent U.S. Presidential election and how we want perfect leaders to rule over us. He describes the scene:  “…the clapping, the rapturous applause when the new king is sworn in. It’s the sound of a hopeful people. It’s the sound of a truly miraculous, though flawed, democracy. It’s the sound of a people in hope, and for others, people showing grace.”

Read the whole post for a hopeful take on how to think about flawed leaders and goverments with a Godly hope.