I was reading something today online and I followed a link that took me to another site, which is not what I usually do. The new site was Disney related and looked safe enough, but I don't do a lot of wandering into unfamiliar territory when online, which is ironic since I expect new people to come visit my website every day. :)
Anyway, the site had multiple ads, which is not really my cup of tea, but for some it pays the bills, so I get it. The ad said this:
'Free tool shows you which friend dislikes you.'
...and then there was an arrow to click on. I didn't, so I can't tell you where it went or what it wanted to prompt me to do or buy. But I did sit there for several seconds looking at it.
Huh? Isn't that an oxymoron? Like giant shrimp. Or virtual reality. A friend who dislikes you?
It got me thinking. I was thinking of what I know of friendship. Of things that I've known for a long time, and of things that I've learned more recently.
I know that there are levels of friendship. Jesus spent a lot of time talking to the disciples at the Passover and on the way to the garden, right before His betrayal. He told them in John 15:15:
"Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you."
I love that so much. Jesus said in the verse before that in order to be His friend we must be willing to do the things that He commands us. The Bible says in James that Abraham was called the friend of God. Boy, do I love that, too.
This is really good stuff. I could stop right here and be good for a long time. I so want the Lord to call me His friend. And yes, Jesus was a friend to women, too. Mary and Martha were His friends, and they were very dear to Him. They were so close that they caused Him to cry. Study John 11. I've written of that before. Read Death and Great Love.
There were many other women who were Jesus' friends, too. I would love to stop here as well. I will for sure come back here someday.
Then there was the inner circle of the friends of Jesus. The three apostles who were especially close to Him. And there was one with whom He was the closest, and I believe with him Jesus shared more of His heart. I think that John knew Him better than anyone else here on earth. I honestly weep at that thought.
But I'm going somewhere else today.
I want to talk about the friend who doesn't like you. Because I've learned some things of this in my recent past. And I don't believe that such a thing exists.
The Bible says in Proverbs 17:17 that "A friend loveth at all times". That's a good place to start.
God encourages friendship. Ecclesiastes 4:9 - "Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour."
He pretty much insists on it. John 15:12-14 - "This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you."
God warns us about being friends with the wrong people. Proverbs 22:24 - "Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go."
God tells us how to make friends. Proverbs 18:24 - "A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly."
God tells us our friends are to encourage and edify us, and we them.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 - "Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do."
Romans 1:12 - "That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me."
Wow! That's really good stuff. And then there are these, which you know are my favorites:
Proverbs 27:9 - "Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man's friend by hearty counsel."
Proverbs 27:17 - "Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend."
A true friend will encourage and give you Godly advice. Counsel from the Word of God, because no other thoughts have any value. And rightly dividing it, not just pulling out a verse or two to serve their own craftiness. Someone who is solid in the Bible, knows the principles of it, and who loves the Lord with all of their heart. Someone who does not approach you selfishly or for their own purpose. Someone who has your best interest at heart. Someone in whom you can trust.
I could talk to you of what a friend is not. Maybe another day. You learn a lot of things about friendship in the storm.
But one thing I can tell you for sure. Stay away from a friend who does not like you. Because such a one is not a friend at all.
Oh, one more thing. John 15:13 tells us that "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." And we know of Whom that speaks. And if Jesus is the only true friend that you ever have, that is enough. More than enough!
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