broken but not crushed

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

Location: Columbus, Central Ohio, United States

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Best Friends - FINAL PART in the series

Dear Friends,

Well, we’ve come to the end of this short series of blogs on making and keeping good friends. Thanks for joining me on this journey.

What if I told you I have, totally by accident, discovered the cure for aging.

Yes, I was working with my little chemistry set in the workshop when I dropped one of the beakers on the floor where it broke. It spilled on a mixture of sawdust from various species of wood and also some from plastic I had cut on the bandsaw. The whole thing went PUFF! And there was this amazing looking gel on the floor of my shop. I picked it up and accidentally got some on my hands. Almost immediately my hands began to look younger, and the strength I had years ago began to come back. Within an hour or so a complete transformation had taken place on my skin. I was ecstatic!

But then I did a dumb thing. I came in to eat lunch and just forgot to wash my hands. I fixed my ham sandwich and without thinking licked the extra mustard off my fingers. Man, does that stuff taste terrible! But within the hour I began to feel my leg muscles strengthening and a strange warm feeling in my spine. Listen, over night I am now back on my feet – and it also seems the diabetes is gone, too. I’ll check with the doctor but I think my blood pressure is doing fine on its own as well. I’ll have them check my cholesterol too, it’s only a guess but I think it will show a marked improvement, thanks to my little accident.

If this little tale were true, what would you think of me? Would you be happy? And more importantly, after checking it out with the medical professionals do you think you might like to give my little accident a try? I don’t know too many who would say “no”. There would be great joy around the world at this breakthrough discovery. People would be patting me on the back and telling me how wonderful I am.

But then, what if I went on to tell you that I think I’ll just keep this to myself. Come on, people are going to ask how I made it—everyone would want a piece of me! What are the chemical formula’s? How hot was the reaction? What kinds of sawdust were on the floor? All those questions I can’t answer. And people are going to want me to talk about my great discovery and I really don’t want to do that. And the medical and pharmaceutical people are going to make demands on my time and energy – so I think I’ll just share this discovery with my immediate family and a few close friends and let the rest of the world have their own accident.

NOW, what do you think of me? Am I being fair with the rest of the world? Might you ask yourself “Am I one of his close friends - is he gonna share this with me?” Would you think that I was being selfish, uncaring, unconcerned with the plight of people in general? Would you tell me I was being self-centered and egotistic and that I needed to share this great discovery with the rest of the planet?

Well, this little story is NOT true, as you expected. But wait! Not so fast with that dismissal. You see, I DO have the answers to the greatest challenges of this age. I hold in my hands, every single day, the answer for divorce and hatred. I already know the solution to the problems of discrimination, murder, rape, and filled prisons. I can also tell you where to find these answers yourself, and give you directions as to how to solve these challenges in your own life.

No, I cannot force you to accept my help, nor do I have the right to insist that you accept my solution, but since I am absolutely sure the solution I found works, every single time, in every single case, don’t you think I have a moral mandate to share that information? I mean, if the above cure for aging were available, or a cure for cancer, or Parkinson’s, or heart disease, or AIDS - don’t you think I would have a moral imperative, an ethical obligation to share that wisdom with you? Surely it would be the proper, decent, honorable thing to do, right?

Absolutely! I would be considered the most selfish man alive were I to keep such a thing to myself. And yet, at the same time, I am told by some to keep silent when I have, in a complete package, the proven, confirmed, and experientially verified answers to life’s greatest challenges.

Bottom line?

Observation #5: True Friends care for each other spiritually

1 Samuel 23:15,16 “While David was at Horesh he learned that Saul had come out to take his life. And Saul's son Jonathan went to David at Horesh and helped him find strength in God."

I have purposely saved the most important quality of true friendship for last.

> Yes, it is true that true friends have a relationship that is more than skin deep and will stand the test of time and stress.
> It is true that real friends are unselfish and generous with one another and that the people involved are willing to take the time necessary to nurture and grow the friendship into something valuable.
> And yes, it is true that friends willingly place themselves on the line in defense of their friend.

But there is no more important sign of friendship, no other act that expresses just how real and true and important a friendship is to the other person than someone willing to risk their friendship to make sure their friend makes it to heaven.

Please understand, friendships that are based in earthly things are important and good, and have incredible value to us as people. But there is a friendship that reaches beyond the earthbound stuff of ordinary living. This friendship is one that has an eternal point of view, a mindset that transcends human need and understanding because it cares about the other person’s never dying soul.

This old body is going to someday fade away. Oh, my friends I’m glad of that. No more sickness or pain. No more drugs that take away one problem and leave you with another. No more brokenness, emptiness, frailty. Because one day all of this will end. Please hear me, this is not all there is. There is a heaven to gain and a Hell to shun. There is hope for the redeemed, rest for the weary, and wholeness for the broken. There will be an ultimate healing where every tear is dried and every disease is forgotten. Praise God, this is not all there is.

And a real friend, one who cares for you and loves you and wants the best for you, will make sure you know about the Lord. They will not keep silent about the cure for eternal damnation. They will refuse to be quiet about Jesus, about being saved, about the redemption of our souls that only Jesus could buy and only Jesus did buy. They will want you to know joy unspeakable and full of glory. They will want you to be introduced to the Savior.

This is the great mark of the best friendships. Your REAL friend will risk your anger and your rejection to make sure you know about eternal, abundant, joy and love filled LIFE! Why? Because it is the difference between life and death for your eternal soul. It is the difference between really living and trying to make it on your own and failing miserably.

And so, at the risk of my friendship with you, I offer this truth …

Jesus loves you. He loves you so much that he came to this planet and paid the penalty for your wrongdoing even before you were born. He wrote the contract for your eternal life in paradise and signed it in his own blood. It is free for the taking, as a love gift from the Creator of the Universe.

But it will never be put into effect until you accept it for yourself. Like a Christmas gift you leave under the tree unopened, you can’t have this gift until you accept it and open the box. God has made this provision for your soul and mine, and it requires that …
(1) You realize you can’t get rid of your own sin on your own and that you need a Savior,
(2) You accept that Jesus is the risen Son of God and that he IS that Savior you need. When he died on the cross he paid for your sin with his own blood. When he rose from the dead he proved he had the power to do everything he said he would do.
(3) Finally, when you accept this for yourself you believe that you are clean from the inside out.

That’s it. No hocus pocus, no magic formulas, no special incantations, no hoops to jump through – just honesty about yourself and your sin, belief that Jesus, God’s Son, is the answer, and acceptance of the answer for yourself.

If you need to talk or if you’ve made this most important decision about your future, please contact me. I’d be glad to part of your new life!

Love in Christ,


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