broken but not crushed

Helping each other live successfully and abundantly in the face of brokenness.

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Location: Columbus, Central Ohio, United States

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Best Friends part two

Good day, my friends,

Yesterday we began a series of blogs centered on this idea of “Best Friends”. Many thanks to those of you who have already written with notes of encouragement – they are much appreciated.

We figured out yesterday that real friends sometimes require serious effort on our parts to make them work. But we also made a clear determination that we NEED good friends, and that life on this planet is not healthy unless we have one or more of them.

And finally, we took a look at what the Bible has to say about a couple guys who were best friends. An unlikely friendship at best, but, hey, let’s just take a look at my …

Observation #1: True friendship is more than skin deep

David and Jonathan’s friendship was born deep in their spirits. It involved their emotions and their intellect, it was based deep inside their very souls. It’s a good thing, too, because if you took a look at the outside trappings there couldn’t have been two more different guys. Let’s take a quick look at their …

Financial standing. Jonathan had at his fingertips all the resources of the entire kingdom of Israel. He merely spoke and his every wish was granted. He lacked for nothing, and was showered with abundance. David, on the other hand, didn’t even own clothing fit to be seen in the kings court. He would have been offered the least in compensation for his efforts, would have inherited the least from his father, and would have had to work his entire lifetime just to survive.

Family birth order. Jonathan was the Prince of Israel, the king’s first-born son and first in line for the throne. David was the last born of 8 sons, and in line to tend sheep.

His families place in society. As stated, Jonathan was the first son of the first king of Israel. There could be no higher standing in the nation. David’s family was an ordinary, tax paying, garden variety farming family. David was the least favored of the whole family of least favored folk.

David and Jonathon were complete opposites. There was nothing visible that would have drawn these two men together in a lifelong friendship.

But obviously, everything is not visible. The story we read last time stated that these men “loved each other like real men” and that they “made a covenant” between them.

These two guys, as opposite as humanly possible, became best friends in spite of their obvious differences. They completely ignored the externals and focused on their hearts, and in their hearts they were brothers.

What’s holding you back from making a real friend? Could it be your financial picture? And by the way that goes two ways! Some feel they are too good for the other guy because they have so much more money, and then there are the ones who believe they aren’t good enough simply because the other person has made more money over their life time.

Could it be that you feel like the other person is above or below you socially, and it just wouldn’t be right to associate with that person who might one day become a friend?

Let’s be real for a minute - none of that really matters! Oh yes, I am fully aware that there are some very real barriers to making friendships, especially when you are broken. For example, I have never met the people who live across the street from my house. Because of the architecture of my home and my access ramp direction, I have only been in my own front yard one time since we moved in. And since my "across the street" neighbors have no reason to come out to the back alley behind my house, I’ve never met them.

But I HAVE met the people that connect to the back of my house, and they are good people, and I’ve made some very good friends among them.

What am I telling you? That YES, there are barriers, sometimes insurmountable and impractical ones that stand in the way. But we dare not allow them to become an excuse. We must not foolishly build artificial barriers that we then hide behind – hey, it’s so easy to make excuses based on things that just don’t matter. And when we are feeling down and out already, possibly because of our brokenness or some of its related issues, we could tend to want to hide away from the world even more. But it’s those times you need a friend more than ever.

Make provisions for your friendships. Take the time necessary to go deeper than “skin deep”, and refuse to allow yourself to become the victim of friendlessness. Whatever you do, think through this issue for yourself. Then DO SOMETHING about it.

You’ll be glad you did!

Till tomorrow,
Dwight

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