Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Being A True Friend

Kids sometimes can exhibit irrational behavior. After all, they're children learning to become mature adults. But when a young boy or girl throws tantrums and gets upset easily and often, it can be difficult for the young child to maintain friendships; and he or she can soon be labeled as an outcast. Once an outcast, a feeding frenzy can develop, and the other children can begin to tease the child, and talk negatively about him or her.

When we become adults, our fears and weaknesses don't automatically disappear. Our closest friends are aware of our struggles. Some of our challenges maybe easily observed by others. Sometimes people who know us will talk about our difficulties or differences with others. That can ostracize us and leave us feeling lonely.

While I was out shopping the other day, I was chatting with a cashier that was from Germany.We were talking about friendships. She said to me, "My really good friends I've known for twenty years. They know the good and the bad, and they keep their mouths shut."

On the way home, I stopped to fill up my car with gasoline. While I was pumping gas, two men who were close by were having a conversation. The one guy had his boat on a trailer, and was putting fuel in it. The other man who was nearer to me, on the other side of the gas pumps, asked him, "Have you been out lately?"

"No, I  haven't had the time. I don't want to put anything ahead of church." Then he asked the other man, "Have you seen Jimmy?"

The guy who was across from me pumping gas into his car said, "I can talk to him for a bit. But the guy's juiced up all the time."

"Yep," said the other man, as he was fixing the nozzle of the hose back onto the pump. "I try to stay away from him. I can only take so much of the guy."

Jesus didn't run from people with behavior problems. He embraced them right where they were. In one instance, Jesus crossed the sea to heal an outcast that was living in caves (Mark 5:1-20).

In Christ, we can experience our deepest intimacy - intercourse with the mind, and the spirit. Before Jesus was crucified, he said to his disciples, "In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you" (John 14:20 NASB).

In Jesus we see our oneness. We come together to encourage one another, not to destroy each other.

We all need people that believe in us. When we come to love and accept one another in our brokenness, that's when we become true friends.

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