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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Friendship

Friendship is a thing to be treasured, especially when it is a true
friendship. True friends love you enough to overlook the small flaws in your
life and enough to try to help you struggle with the big ones. Proverbs
17:17 tells us, "A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for
adversity."

My best friend of about 30 years, George, down in the heart of Texas sent me
the following words after I sent him prepublication copy of an article I was
working on, asking for his suggestions. I send it along with a note that it
was "unproofed" and it still had lots of "Typo's". He replied: "A friend is
one who reads your emails and does not count your typos." That may seem like
a small thing, but at the old saying goes, "It's the little things that make
a difference."

How does that concept translate practically into our modern way of thinking?
Just what does that mean for us today? Does it have to be about big
sacrifices or of unquestioning support for us all of the times when we mess
up in life, or even when we make the wrong choices? I believe it does. You
see when Proverbs talks about the love of a friend, it says "a friend loves
(cares deeply) at all times". Dr. Laurence Peter said it this way, "You can
always tell real friend: When you make a fool of yourself, they don't feel
you've done a permanent job."

Friendship is very much about consistency, loyalty and mutual support.
Friendship is not something you have only when it is convenient or cost you
no personal investment of time and energy. Friendship is not seen in those
who desert you when things get tough or messy in your life, that's a cheap
imitation of friendship. Friendship is what causes you to believe in and
support someone else even when it's not the cool or in your best interests
to do so. Do you remember of what they accused Jesus in Luke 7:34? They
said, "He is a friend of tax collectors and other sinners!"

Friendship does not mean that you have to condone the actions of your friend
when they do wrong or intend to do wrong. Friendship is what causes you to
try to help them see what the right choices in life are; after all, making
"right choices" is what life is all about. Do you remember what Jesus said
in John 15:14? Notice his words: "You are my friends if you do what I tell
you to do (obey my commandments)."

There is a hymn we sometimes sing, titled "I'll be a friend to Jesus." In
the third verse we often sing the words, but too often don't think about
what we are promising to God. Notice the words: "I'll do what He may bid me;
I'll go where He may send. I'll try each flying minute to prove that I'm His
friend."

A true friend is not just one that occasionally sends prayer heavenward. A
true friend of Jesus is someone who demonstrates through their actions
(doing what he tells us to do) that we are his friend. The chorus of this
song emphasizes the importance of being a friend of Jesus. When we sing:
"I'll be a friend to Jesus; My life for Him I'll spend. I'll be a friend to
Jesus, Until my years shall end." Can we do any less for our friends here on
earth?

Russ Lawson

Get a FREE on-line Bible commentary on the book of Romans through
http://www.abiblecommentary.com. There are also FREE audio sermons -
http://www.abiblecommentary.com/audiosermons and FREE sermon outlines -
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