13 December 2005

The Investment of Friendship

Origianlly Published 1999-09-02
Prov 17:17 A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born foradversity. (NAS) There are a precious few people in my life I give the title of Friend.It is a word this world has expanded to include our acquaintances andco-workers. Most of these people are not enemies, but they are alsonot the kind of people who will drop everything for us in a time ofneed. A friend is someone you know and want to know better. You cantell each other things without expecting judgment when understandingor just an ear is really needed. Friends feel the pain the other issuffering in times of trial. It is understood that the other one willpray, but it is asked anyway so as not to assume. Prov 18:24 A man of many friends comes to ruin, but there is afriend who sticks closer than a brother. (NAS) In a time of personal trial, your friends will boil to the surface.Sacrifices are made in time and effort to be there, drop a note ormake a call to check up on a friend or visit. I have read that mostpeople will only ever have six to 12 very close friends in theirlifetime. Of those, only two or three will make up an inner circle atone time. It may seem sad that there are so few. But these closefriends are like diamonds on black velvet as they reflect the love ofJesus in the dark struggles of our mortal lives. It is, in part, theirrarity that makes them valuable. Prov 27:6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but deceitful arethe kisses of an enemy. (NAS) One true measure of a friend is seen when trials come. Another way toknow who is a real friend is to find the person who will look you inthe eye and tell you that you're wrong about something important.Someone who will make excuses for you when it really counts is notbeing a faithful friend. Jesus pointed His finger right in Peter'sface as said, "Get behind me Satan..." Oh how that must have stung tobe publicly called on the carpet. Peter was being selfish where thesalvation of the world was at stake. Peter had been wrong, but Jesusstuck by Peter. Within days, Peter was an eyewitness to thetransfiguration of Jesus. The rebuke was properly taken to heart andthe friendship was restored and deepened.To invest in having and being a friend means that we must invest time,and invest ourselves. To invest ourselves, we become vulnerabledeveloping trust through confidences shared and kept, sharing thewounds to our hearts. Because we are human, it means that we will makemistakes. In those mistakes, we will cause and be hurt. Sharing trialsand talking through our hurts - giving space when it is needed, beinghonest with each other and growing with the other are all parts offriendship. Careful investment and a willingness to weather the stormsthat will come pays dividends that are wealth beyond counting. It isnot all roses and sweets. Without the struggles and effort, the rosesmight not be appreciated nearly as much.---Lord Jesus - You showed us many facets of friendship, some not so easyto do. But there are few things in life that are worth doing that donot have a cost and a learning curve associated with them. The mostpriceless of these take a lifetime to achieve. Thank You for being thefriend that sticks closer than a brother, to show us how to be thatkind of friend. Make us imitators of You. Amen.Peace,Mikemhoskins@cfdevotionals.org


make new friends said...

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