“Make the most of every opportunity. Be gracious in your speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in conversation, not put them down, not cut them out.” Col 4: 5-6 MSG
I think about Paul and His friendships…
“My good friend Tychius...Onesimis has become such a trusted and dear brother! Aristarchus, who is in jail here with me, sends greetings…also Mark and also Jesus, the one they call Justus. These are the only ones left from the old crowd who have stuck with me in working for God’s kingdom. Don’t think they haven’t been a big help! Esphras-says hello. What a trooper he has been! He’s been tireless in his prayers for you, praying that you’ll stand firm, mature and confident in everything He wants you to do. I’ve watched him closely, and can report on how hard he was worked for you and for those in Laodicea and Hierapolis. Luke, good friend and physician and Demas both send greetings. Say hello to our friends in Laodicea and also Nympha and the church that meets in her house…And, oh, yes, tell Archippus, “Do your best job in the job you received from the Master, do your very best.” Col 4:7-14 MSG
Paul is the kind of friend I want to be. He encourages, prays for and knows his friends. He accepts their differences and brings out the good qualities in them. I can almost see his face light up when he talks about them. And feel his yearning to be together again…whether in Heaven or on earth. He seems to understand what my pastor said when preaching a sermon about relationships…that “People Last Forever.”
I think about me and my friendships…What kind of friend am I? Am I encouraging ? Am I being vulnerable? What is holding me back? Is Jesus my example?…
“I use to walk around with clenched fists…but it was Jesus who taught me there was nothing I could really lose if I had Him. He taught me to be palms up, just like He was. Palms up means that you have have nothing to gain or lose, Palms up means that you are strong enough to be vulnerable, even with your enemies. Even when you have been tremendously wronged, Jesus was palms up to the end.” (Love Does, by Bob Goff).
Dear Father. Thank you for loving me. Help me to fully understand your love for me so that I can love others and be the kind of friend that You want me to be. I thank You for the friends You have put into my life that draw me closer to You. Amen.