One-Sided Friendship

Hello Friends,

So, I just recently finished reading all of Dante’s Divine Comedy.  Yes, all three epic works.  And, I’m not going to lie, that was a lot of Dante.  I am very excited to be moving on to a new book.  But when we finished reading, we spent some time, in class, talking about friendship.  We compared and contrasted classical models of friendship to the Christian model presented by Dante.

One of the things my teacher pointed out was something that St. Augustine said.  This was something to the effective of: for Christians, friendship has to so with with a desire to see God in the other person.  The way my teacher explained this was that when you are friends with someone who knows that Lord, you see God in them, and when you are friends with someone who doesn’t know the Lord, you want to see God in them.

However, I think it goes beyond that.  I think when someone is a good friend, you are seeing God reflected in them, and that brings you joy.  However, when someone is a bad friend the Christian response should not be anger, but rather a longing for them to better reflect God, not because of the effect it has on you, but because of the effect that it will have on them.  Friendship is about wanting what is best for the other person.

However, that is easier said than done.  It is very hard to be in a one-sided friendship.  And it can be very draining.  But, I think, one of the best things to do when you find yourself drained from being in friendship where you are doing all the pursing, is remember how often God pursues us and we reject him.  God does not love us because He gets anything out of it.  He loves us because He is a gracious God, and part of being a Godly friend is reflecting that grace, even when it takes a toll on your emotions.

Thanks for Reading!

Until Next Time, Stay Out of Trouble.

 

Because of Grace

Hello Friends,

“As you get to know people more, you realize your need for grace.”  This was something one of my professors said in class this week that really stuck out to me.  The more you get to know someone the more you realize that they are a sinner.  But also, the more they get to know you, the more they realize that you are a sinner.

By rights, knowing this about one another, we should all despise each other.  Yet, God, in His grace, saw fit to give us a capacity to love.  And what a beautiful gift that it is.  It is because of grace that parents love their children, and children love their parents.  It is because of grace that husbands love their wives, and wives love their husbands.  And most important of all, it is because of grace that God loves us, and we love Him. 

boy carrying bear plush toy

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My own personal need for grace is never more apparent to me than when I have a friend who loves me well.  No one is perfect, and I am no exception.  There are times when I am sulky and rude and self-centered.  And more often than not, in those moments, I have friends who care enough about me to give me chocolate and coffee and the time of day.  Because they care for me, and they want to see me doing well.

It is so important to cherish loved ones and be kind to strangers, because every healthy human relationship is merely a result of God’s grace.  I’ll leave you with one last quote from another of my professors.

“It takes a lifetime to get how much people are worth.”

Thanks for Reading.

Until Next Time, Say Out if Trouble!

Friends to the End

Do you ever wish you had the power to fix everyone’s problems and just make their lives better?  I’ve been feeling this a lot lately as people tell me about their heartbreaking struggles.  I listen dumbstruck as they tell me of loved ones they have lost, hostile in environments they have lived in, and battles they have fought.  At a loss for words my only thought, my only wish is to go back in time and make those horrible things not happen to them.  What words of affirmation and comfort do you offer to people fighting battles that seem impossible?  What can you do to fill their lives with joy and happiness when all they have known is grief?  I think the most heartbreaking thing to see is someone who is resigned to their grief.  The people my heart bleeds for, the ones I want to help the most, are the completely closed-off-open-books.

The closed-off-open-books are the friendly people that make you feel like you know them so well right from the start, but then slowly you begin to see that you know nothing about them.  These are people who have been broken. They accept the fact that life has and will continue to beat them down.  Is it enough to tell a broken person that Jesus loves them?  Is it helpful to tell someone who’s fighting that God is still in control?  The truth is, I don’t know the answer.

Often times you read blogposts from people who come prepared with answers to the questions they are asking.  Most bloggers are that one kid in school that ALWAYS does the homework and is always prepared for class.  I’m not going to lie; usually, I am that kid.  But today, I don’t know.  Today I have more questions than answers.  I do know that I believe God is in control of every situation.  He is using His power to work good in the lives of all those who love Him, no matter the circumstance.  But when someone is watching a loved one die from cancer, is that knowledge comforting?  I know that I believe that God uses hard circumstance to make people stronger and draw them closer to Him.  But when you can’t find a job to pay the bills, does that knowledge help?  Today I’m the student who didn’t do her homework and is asking a plethora of questions in an attempt to try and mask my unpreparedness in the school of life.  All I know is that I long to help those in need.  To offer comfort and to give them some happy thought.  To help them find joy in times of peace and strength in time of trouble, because that is what good friend does.  And I would have no idea what it means to be a good friend, if Jesus didn’t show me.  For there is no greater friend than the one who would die a painful death to right your wrongs and save your soul.  So, who knows perhaps just being a good friend is comfort enough?