Lately I have been so disturbed by some things that have been happening with a few of my friends. I find it tragic on some levels that some have chosen to walk in a path that leads to the destruction of a fragile self-esteem and to create a sense of unity behind their motives.
For some time I have enjoyed my time with these friends. They have encouraged me during times of trouble, lifted me up when I was feeling down. But I feel as though we are drifting apart. I think it’s in large part to the choices they have made to disconnect from someone I care about.
For me friendship is defined by the tough times. Because I’ve had enough of them to know who your real friends are in times of trouble. They are the ones who don’t give up on you when you’ve been kicked to the curb. When no one else wants to be with you because you aren’t living up to their expectations. Not performing the way they want you to.
Friendship should not be about what someone can do for you. It should be what you can do for someone else. It’s about having compassion for one another, not breaking peoples hearts. It’s about holding them as Jesus would – holding them close to your heart and refusing to let them go just because you don’t agree with where they are going or what they are saying. You just stand by them, support them, pray for them, lift them up and hope that in the end they’ll be ok.
We as followers of Jesus are to be compassionate, caring, comforting, a blessing, diligent, fair, show mercy, show kindness, be grateful, provide guidance, help others, remain humble, give hope, be the joy, remain patient, provide – all these things are what a true friend does for another. Are you really doing that? Are you really speaking – walking – loving – respecting – honoring each and every person you know? I’m not so sure I’m seeing that.
I am reminded of a few stories in the Bible that clearly lay out what we must do if we are true followers of Christ.
Luke 15 – The Parable of the Lost Sheep
1 Corinthians 13 – Love is the Greatest
Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance – verse 7
2 Corinthians 1 – God Offers Comfort to ALL
He comforts us in all our troubles so that WE can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. – verse 4
I also love Matthew 5 – because we are given the very direction I believe keeps us on the path of doing great things for God. It was the Sermon on the Mount that God’s people were given the “Beatitudes”:
God blesses those wo are poor and realize their need for him., for the kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth.
God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied.
God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God.
God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.
God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
My last thought: We have the ability to show love, to give love or to take love. God has commanded us to love. Not to judge and criticize. If we chose to take love and hurt others we open the door for destruction and pain not only for the person whom we have hurt, but for ourselves.
My Challenge to You: Do the right thing…walk in love….choose to give and not take….be merciful – for one day you might find yourself needing love, joy, kindness and mercy – go knowing that you will have it if you need it.
until next time,