Life’s Little Backward Glances

Reposting Sunday, 12/14/14 after enjoying my church family at our Christmas Banquet…

You never know what will strike your fancy. Some shiny bobble, a unique toy, some strange piece of equipment, or even a paint job on a car. Yet, we get struck all the time by things unique.

A friend from my teenage years did this for me yesterday. He wrote a kind and thoughtful message to me regarding my “About” on this blog. Not only am I all the things I said, I failed to document that I am a “Friend.” We then reminisced about some of the teenage year connections we have. This kind of friendship is my foundation on who I am today. Thanks, friend.

This grabbed my attention yesterday, and I thought about it through the night. How many of us do not have this kind of friendship? Sure, we have acquaintances that are like the dawn and dusk, they show up in the morning and gone by nightfall. But true friendship is seen over time.

My parents have been in a 42 domino party for 50 yeas or more. They have had their dinner fellowship and game time every several months. They are there for each other, as the announcer for Wide World of Sports used to say, in the thrill of victory, or the agony of defeat. Whether there be good times, or tragedy, they are the core group that sticks together through thick and thin. How do I know, I am a child of this type of friendship that has seen the blessings it has brought to my parents.

True Friendship is a long-term event.

The bible has taught us the value of friendship. God spoke to Moses as a man speaks to his friend (Ex 33:11), Abraham was called a friend of God (2 Chron 20:7), friends can turn their back on us (Ps 41:9), and though a brother is born for adversity, a friend loveth at all times (Prov 17:17). Friends should be able to speak to us honestly, even when it hurts (Prov 27:6), and were it not for friends we would have nothing to sharpen ourselves with (Prov 27:17).

Jesus teaches a parable how a man will go out of his way to care for a friend. Why? Because he IS a friend. (Luke 11:6-8).

Finally, we have to draw the line at our friendship opportunities. James 4:4 says that friendship with the world is enmity (at odds with) God and if we are a friend of the world then we are an enemy of God. This is a rehash of what Jesus said in Matt 6:24 – you cannot have two masters…you cannot serve God and mammon (money) for either you will serve one or the other. You must choose.

Adam and Eve chose the allure of the what they were told they could not have. Jacob tells the people to chose whether to serve God or not. Lot, though a nephew and not a friend, is given opportunity to honor his elder or chose his direction selflessly. David chooses to honor the son of a friend slain in battle, but then dishonors a close soldier by seducing his wife. Then David shows us all how to seek forgiveness by turning to God for his sin and paying the consequences of his action (a man after God’s own heart – Acts 13:22).

From all of these examples I have learned over the years how I should be a friend to another, and how to chose my friends wisely. Friends are a powerful influence to our choices in life. I want to chose wisely.

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