Posted by: Rolf | July 23, 2008

True Friendship…

All your friends are sinners, and so are you. The question is “how good are you at loving people despite their faults?” Of course, we should not compromise with God’s law or tolerate lawlessness—we should hate sin. But we also must be skilled at loving sinners.

With every friend and acquaintance, take a moment to ask, “Do I think, deep down, that I am better than this person?” If the answer is yes, whether you realize it or not, it will show in your actions. Vanity and self-righteousness are great barriers to true friendship. You’re never going to give much of yourself to a person you look down on.

Consider: God called Abraham His friend. God spoke to Moses “face to face, as a man speaks unto his friend”. How much of a gulf was there between God and those men in terms of righteousness, spiritual maturity, intellect and so on—yet God didn’t consider Himself above those men, in that sense. Christ was perfect, yet He didn’t go around condemning people all the time. He mixed so well that He was accused of being a friend of tax collectors and sinners.

This gives a good indication that no differences between two people who are trying to obey God should present such an obstacle that you couldn’t have a solid friendship. That bond of brotherly love with another person will grow if you get rid of vanity and base that relationship on mutual humility and respect. Accepting your friend’s means listening to them; giving them sincere compliments. Accepting those means seeing the positive big picture and not letting a mistake get in the way.

Being a true friend means not being negative and critical of the other person. Unless criticism is handled carefully, it never gets good results—it just creates bad feelings and sore spots. God and Jesus Christ would be perfectly justified in criticizing us every minute of the day, but they choose the moments to give correction; the rest of the time, they are remarkably encouraging to us!

Elbert Hubbard said, “Your friend is the man who knows all about you, and still likes you.” Bernard Meltzer said, “A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a good egg even though he knows that you are slightly cracked.” James Boswell said, “A companion loves some agreeable qualities which a man may possess, but a friend loves the man himself.”

True friends share of themselves. They can have a good laugh or cry in each other’s company. They can honestly exchange ideas, opinions and feelings. They can even disagree without hurting each other. What a gift a true friend can be! It is a relationship worth cultivating. Maximize your opportunities to let the roots of your friendships grow into something that will endure for years to come.

In His Grip and Serving Grace…

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