Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Friends Always Love

Chuckle: The prospective father-in-law asked, "Young man, can you support a family?" The surprised groom-to-be replied, "Well, mmm, No. I was just planning to support your daughter. The rest of you will have to fend for yourselves!"
Quote:  “When a friend laughs, it is for him to disclose the subject of his joy; when he weeps, it is for me to discover the cause of his sorrow.”  --Joseph Francois Desmahis
    "A friend loves at all times, and is born, as a brother (or sister), for adversity"  (Proverbs 17:17 TAB). "The man of many friends (a friend of all the world) will prove himself a bad friend, but there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother" (Proverbs 18:24 TAB).  In these verses, we see that true friends love us like brothers or sisters and are essential to our well-being, especially during times of adversity.  There is also a warning about making friends with the world.
According to the Dictionary, a friend is "A person whom one knows well and likes; a person on the same side in a struggle -- an ally."  Another definition: "A friend is the first person who comes in when the whole world has gone out."  People need the strength of a few solid relationships rather than a large number of superficial ones. Trying to make friends with "bad company" can bring pain and disappointment.  To better understand friendship from a Biblical perspective, let's think of some other human interactions that are valuable and necessary, but are not genuine friendships.
Jesus loved all people but related to them on various levels.  He preached to some, He ministered to the individual spiritual needs of some, and He even performed Miracles of physical healing for others.  But he related in a different way to His twelve disciples.  The closeness He enjoyed with them was unique, and even among the twelve, there were three whom Jesus seemed to relate to more closely as friends. " . . . Jesus took Peter, James, and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were alone. There he was transfigured before them" (Mark 9:2).
You can put yourself through a lot of anguish and heartache if you try to be friends with everyone, because not every relationship will reach the level of friendship love; however, this is not to say that other human interactions are not healthy, nor should they be avoided -- just the opposite.  When you see a person in need and you reach out to him or her in ministry, you have shown obedience to our Lord by showing love, compassion, and caring.  But the needy person may never be your close friend.
On the other hand, when you have a true friend, the two of you will give to each other in an equal and unselfish way.  Both will be strengthened, blessed, and comforted by the relationship. In our Christian lives, we can identify three types of relationships.
(1) First, there are those to whom we need to minister in their time of need, but they may give little or nothing to us in return.  Our joy comes from helping people, not receiving.  (2) Also, we need people to minister to us in our times of need, but we may return little or nothing to them.  (3) A third kind of relationship is true friendship.  This special relationship reflects mutual love, respect, kindness, sharing, and never-ending loyalty.  We should choose our friends carefully, but a good friend brings great joy.

Love, Jerry & Dotse


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