Sunday, October 24, 2010

Be A Good Friend

I was recently asked to share a short devotional at a ladies luncheon, and wanted to share what God laid on my heart.

In the 15th chapter of Luke, Jesus shares two parables to describe how all Heaven rejoices over ONE sinner repenting. In Luke 15:8-9, the Lord gives us a glimpse of friendship in the parable of the woman who lost one silver coin.

Luke 15:8-9 (New International Version)

8"Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? 9And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.'

Who does the woman call when she finds her lost coin? She calls her friends and neighbors. When you have news to share (good or bad) do you have someone in your life that you immediately want to call and talk to? Are you being this sort of friend in someone's life?

I have often told my children, "To have a good friend, you must be a good friend." There are many friends in my life who live hundreds of miles away, and I have found myself as the "new girl" a few times as the Lord has moved us to serve in new churches. It takes effort on MY part to stay connected to old friends, and to build relationships with new friends. Again, "To have a good friend, I must be a good friend." To be a good friend it takes effort and time. I believe if you say, "I don't need friends" you are truly missing out on a blessing from the Lord. The Lord didn't intend for us to walk this journey of service to Him alone. God created us for relationships and that is clear when Jesus told us the two most important commandments to follow in Matthew 22:36-39.

Matthew 22:36-39 (New International Version)

36"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" 37Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'

The two greatest commandments boil down to loving God and loving people, and if we keep this in proper order, we will find love, friendship, and contentment. We will find love because no one loves us as Christ does, we will find friendship because Christ calls us to invest in other's lives, and we will find contentment because in Christ alone we are satisfied. Relationships with our sisters in Christ are a special bonus. We need one another to be sharpened and to spur one another on to good works (See Proverbs 27:17 and Hebrews 10:24). When we have Christ in us, we cannot help but love others, reach out to them, bless, encourage, and build friendships.

How are we to love others? Jesus tells us in John 13:34:

"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

How does Jesus love? Jesus loves us unconditionally and without end. He loves us even when we don't deserve it, and when we are unloving and unlovely. Many people shy away from friendship because they have been hurt. But if we love as Christ loves we will love unconditionally and work to restore broken relationships.

To be a good friend, I must love the Lord first and love others as He loves me. I must be intentional in my relationship with Christ and with others and as a result love and friendships will grow. In the midst of obeying the two greatest commandments, Christ will be glorified. Is Christ being glorified in your friendships? If not, examine your heart and see how well you are loving Him and loving others.

Call an old friend this week and tell her how blessed you are to have her in your life. Call a new friend this week and take the time to get to know her better. Be a good friend.


Anonymous said...

Love this! Thank you for sharing!

Sandra said...

Beautiful thoughts! I love that you ended with a challenge. It's easy to think "I'll be a better friend," it's harder to actually be a better friend.