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Friends are Faithful



     When I realize how blessed I am to have such wonderful Christian friends, I have to stop and give thanks to God.

     Research shows that people reported having at least three good friends a decade ago, and now, 10 years later, they report having less than one good friend.

     I look at the dynamics of friendships in the Bible and I’m intrigued. There was Jonathan and David who made a covenant with one another. They were like brothers. Here is what the scripture says about them.  Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, for we have sworn friendship with each other in the name of the LORD, saying, ‘The LORD is witness between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants forever’”  1 Samuel 20:41-42 .

     I think of many of my Christian girl friends and we are like sisters. Never would we turn on one another or abandon the other, but would always look out for the other and work out any miscommunications to the end. That is a blessing!

     I see Peter and John who were very different in their personalities, but still both loved by the Lord and committed to be His disciples. Peter was on the edge and daring, while John, the beloved was a steadfast, less risky follower of Christ. Still, they both found and served their purpose. Peter was a natural leader, and Jesus said to him, “Upon this rock, I will build my church.” John, on the other hand, did not experience the fullness of his destiny and life’s work until much closer to the end of his life, when he was inspired by God to write the book of Revelations.

     Then there was Mary and Martha. These friends both loved Jesus but in different ways. Their personalities were very different. One was people-oriented and one was task-oriented. Although Jesus appreciated them both, he said that Mary who sat at His feet had chosen the better way.

     David, in Psalm 109 (NIV) describes how sometimes we extend our friendship to people only to find it is returned with hostility, evil speaking and anger.

1" My God, whom I praise, 
do not remain silent, 

2 for people who are wicked and deceitful have opened their mouths against me; 
they have spoken against me with lying tongues. 

3 With words of hatred they surround me; 
they attack me without cause. 

4 In return for my friendship they accuse me, 
but I am a man of prayer. 

5 They repay me evil for good, 
and hatred for my friendship."

     I am thankful for friends who offer mutual encouragement and edification on this journey of faith.  When we can call one another and speak an encouraging word, share what the Lord has been showing us in the Word, and pray for one another, it is truly a blessing!

     If you don’t have Christian friends who will hold you accountable to the sin in your life that might be hidden to you and speak the truth in love, and friends who will ask you the tough questions, while all the while having your best interest at heart, with the mercy of Christ, I encourage you to pray for God to send them to you and connect you with them.

     You will know they are the ones when you have spent time in prayer in the presence of God because your spirit will know them and bear witness with their spirit that they are the children of God. This is what the scripture tells us.

     If you have friends who constantly complain, find fault, criticize you, are jealous of you, try to be possessive and controlling, and don’t want anything better for you, then these are not the ones God desires for you to fellowship with on a regular basis. You will not be enriched, but drained.

     It's important that we are kind to everyone and build them up in the Lord as much as we are able. The scripture says that when we water others, we ourselves will be watered.

     Remember, in order to have friends, one must show herself friendly! Let's determine to first be faithful in firendships ourselves, and then ask God to help others be faithful to us as well!     

Copyright © 2008-2015 Debbie Reynolds Harper


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