Tag Archives: friendship

Be a Friend

Ahithophel was the royal adviser. Hushai the Arkite was the king’s friend. Ahithophel was succeeded by Jehoiada son of Benaiah and by Abiathar. Joab was commander of the king’s army.

I Chronicles 27:33-34 (NLT)

I’ve been reading though the Bible this year using a YouVersion app on my iPad and this month has me slogging through I Chronicles. God must have decided that it was important that we have a list of everything and everyone who had been part of the story of the children of Israel. I’m tempted to just skip some of those chapters and then something catches my eye as I skim down the screen: 

Hushai the Arkite was the king’s friend.

In the middle of all the warriors, leaders of clans, priests, and workers, Hushai is mentioned. He’s King David’s friend. 

Experience reminds me that friendship comes in various forms. It might begin as a shared interest in a hobby, children or grandchildren, or a vocation. With some, it is forged during moments of intense battle for a common cause. With others, it settles into a comfortable relationship without complication. You cannot hurry a friendship—it takes time to know the heart of a person. 

For a moment, consider defining friendship as a set of concentric circles. At the center, only two or three people really know the intimacies of our heart. Many more fall in the next ring and are part of our everyday lives in a more casual way. A few people live in another city but continue to impact us. And the final ring includes those folks we call acquaintances. 

Doug Weibe writes, “These gifts of friendship are scattered like ripe fruit in the gardens of our lives, waiting to be tasted and enjoyed. Each gift is given by a loving God, who knows what we need and who desires a friendship with every one of us. Therefore, while we may choose our friendships, we do not create the gift of friendship. We can work on our friendships, but we cannot change them into something they are not gifted to be. This is the pain and the joy, the poverty and the incredible freedom we experience on the journey to becoming friends.” 

I am on that journey and each time spent with a new “friend” offers hope and promise. I wonder which circle Hushai was in? Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The only  way to have a friend is to be one.” 

It’s easy to say we have a lot of Facebook friends, but what about those friends that you look in the eye, face to face, over a latte? You can’t read faces or hear voice inflections in a text or email. Make the time to give of yourself to your friends. As the years pass, that quality time will return as a true gift to your heart.

Share

Got Your Raincoat?

“Two are better off than one . . . If one of them falls down, the other can help him up. But if someone is alone and falls, it’s just too bad, because there is no one to help him”

 Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (GNT)

In a recent post, Rick Warren wrote, “Relationships are a raincoat during the storms of life.” As I thought about that raincoat, I realized I don’t have one. And even if I did, I’d probably just run out to the car trying to dodge the raindrops. I might change my mind about even going anywhere. I’m sure I’d check the weather app on my phone to see when the rain would stop. But, if I would just put on my raincoat, I could venture out without getting soaked.

How do my relationships compare to that raincoat? I know that when the storms of life pour out on my life, I need friends to cover me with their love and care. They are a protection when I don’t have the strength or energy to continue. I don’t have to step out into the storm alone.

Are you tempted to say, “No, I’ll stand in the rain, thank you very much?” Our pride gets in the way of the help we so desperately need. Maybe, we don’t want to appear weak, unprepared, or out of control. We have been trained to suck it up, be strong, do it yourself, when what we really need to do is humble ourselves and ask for a little help.

Do you struggle with feelings of being “less than” or “not enough?” You might think it’s all your fault. These are lies of the enemy to take our focus off the One who gives us strength and those around us who are not looking for perfection but for honesty.

But how do you say thank you when you are feeling so vulnerable and indebted? How do you repay a friend for such kindness? You say, “Thank you.” That friend is not keeping score but loves you and only wants to help. Your part would be to pass it on to someone else in need.

I’m reminded of 2 Corinthians 1:4, He comforts us when we are in trouble, so that we can share this same comfort with others in trouble. We have the Holy Spirit living within us to show us when and how to share His comfort with others. Maybe we don’t show our compassions perfectly, but He can make all things turn out well.

So, grab that raincoat. Brave the storm. I’ll be right beside you.

Share