Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Truth About Friendship

It's a pretty safe assumption to think that everyone has lost a "bestie" at least once in their life. Some have lost more, some have lost many. It's also safe to say that everyone will let at least one of their friends down this year. Probably even this month. The main pitfall to friendships is that we are all human. We are void of perfection and therefore unable to be the best friend possible one-hundred percent of the time.
In this post I would like to discuss a couple different aspects of friendship.

1) (As already stated) We will fail each other.

2) What will our reaction be when a friend fails us?

3) We don't need to worry about friendship because we always have God.

I think we all understand our fallibility. So let's move to #2. I would like you to take a moment to ponder the question. Consider a time when a friend, a close friend, has failed you. Whether it be something truly horrible or just a small instance. Consider those moments and the time following and think very carefully about what your reaction was to that friend. Was it good or bad? Are you proud of how you reacted?

I encourage you to take to heart the words of the Bible and maybe look at some passages in a different light than you have before.

Matthew 5:43-44 -- "You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,"

Here's the thing, when someone fails us, and we react poorly, that causes a tension between the two of you. This could start an argument/fight and then suddenly you are "enemies". The word enemy may seem like strong language at first, but if you are really upset at someone then let's face it, you're not on the same side anymore. And if you think enemy in this case is a strong word, then just heed these words:

1 John: 3:15 -- "Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him."

Yeah... I don't think enemy is too strong a word.

This brings me to my next sub-point: Have you hated your "brother"? In this case I'm meaning both in the familial and the non-familial sense (And yes, this includes sisters). I know I have. I have had the worst feelings for my siblings. Anyone in my family can attest to the fact that I have been enraged by one or more family members in the past.

What's the Bible say to this? According to the verse above I'm a murderer. Thus I have also broken the Ten Commandments in my anger (Exodus 20:13). This should be a very sobering thought for all of us.

Here's another thought. In the family when you are angry or upset it's obvious. The whole family knows you are the one to steer clear of for that day. And it's also usually pretty obvious to whom you wish to take your anger out. But what about when it's directed to someone outside of your home? This is where the conviction should really set in. At least it does for me. I can sit in my room and murder people all day long and no one on this earth will know. The problem? God knows.

Ecclesiastes 12: 13-14 "Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil."

Every. Hidden. Thing. So yes, that includes your thoughts. And don't you love the extra push off the edge when it says "Whether it is good or evil". It's as simple as that. We must refrain from evil thoughts, we must cease the murder in our own hearts. We are better than that, and God is certainly more deserving than that.

Let's move onto the final point. We don't need to worry about friendship because we always have God. Any of you out there struggling with friendship? Have any of you had a good friend turn their back on you and just walk away? We will always fail each other. It's ok.

In the end we need to put our money on God. We need to rest our hope and faith in Him and not in other fallible people. God will be there for us through thick and thin. Yes, you'll have a friend or two who will "always" be there for you. But I promise you they will fail you at some point. If they don't downright leave you, they will certainly mess up. But it doesn't matter. Forgive and forget. Move on. Because the truest of friends is God. The One who, "will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)

I don't want to use the cliche of we "have a friend in Jesus" (The Bible verse at the end covers that). I just want to put it this way. We HAVE Jesus. He died on the cross. He rose from the dead. All for US. We can tell our besties all day long that we would die for them but the reality is that Jesus already did that! He beat us to it.

Can we rely on God more and accept each other for who we really are?

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you."

John 15:12-15

No comments: