Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Friend or Foe?

Do you know who your friends are? Can you actually rely on them to be there for you? Do you know your enemies?

Sometimes we really think of a person as a close friend. Maybe we’ve known them for years. But, one day, things change, and that friend is no longer the person you thought you had known. Accusations are made against your person, the manner in which you serve God, or your personal beliefs are brought into question, all because they differ in opinion on certain things. Or perhaps they’ve misunderstood what you were saying, and accused you of something that really isn’t true. Is that person still considered your friend, or are they truly your foe?

I am one who believes our personal walk with God is just that, personal. And, nobody has a right to tell you that, because you don’t believe exactly as they do (see scripture in the same light), that your aren’t a true Christian. In other words, they are really saying, “I am more holy than you”.

I believe salvation comes through grace by faith in Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

When a person tells me that they are saved and this is how they came to the saving knowledge of God, then I believe what they say. It is not my place to tell them they don’t know Christ, because I can’t see their heart. Only God can see, and only He knows our true relationship with Him.

Friends try to uphold you, not tear you down. Friends don’t try to change you into something you are not. A Christian friend will want to nurture another friend in the love of God, not tear down their spirit with hurtful words. A Christian friend will be an encourager, not a discourager. If a friend needs guidance, it’s given in a loving way, not in a way that makes you feel as though you are second rate in their eyes, or makes you feel that they are ‘more holier than thou’.

I have always heard the saying, “You can get more flies with honey than with vinegar.” I think this is true in almost every situation.

I Corinthians 13 speaks about having love, (spreading the honey, if you will). I think we all need to learn this chapter verse by verse, and remember that without love, we are just ‘sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal.’ Doesn’t matter how eloquently we can speak; if we don’t have love, it does nothing for us. True friends are loving, no matter what the situation. An enemy doesn’t care how much it hurts, he will insist that he is doing it for your good. Give me a friend who, with love, can help me through any crisis, regardless of the aches and pains getting through it. And, you will certainly know who your true friends are, when you encounter a situation in which you have to call upon them.

Linked at Conservative Cat
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