Wounds from a friend

Pr. 27:6:  “Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.”

Have you ever been wounded by a friend or kissed by an enemy?  Did you know the difference?

Yesterday I was talking with one of my dearest friends.  We have both been affected by suicide lately and the subject of my attempted suicide in high school came up.  After a failed 1st attempt, I wrote a letter with my intentions to my friends before my 2nd attempt, and she took it upon herself to take that letter to the school guidance counselor who called my parents.  I was promptly enrolled in counselling.  Yesterday she admitted to me that she was so scared, back then, that I was going to be mad at her.

I told her that I was mad at her for a while.  Wounds from a friend hurt.  But aren’t they ever faithful?  Because of her loyal and caring action, I got the help that I needed and am here writing this blog today.  She could have allowed her fear of losing our friendship to cause her to not take action, but would that have been the best thing for me?  Absolutely not!  I would have died!  She had to choose between my life or our friendship.  I can’t imagine how hard that must have been for her, but at the same time, how easy it was…a no brainer, really.

Now, that one is pretty shut and dry as far as what to do, right?  But…Has your friend started drinking more and more recently and been justifying to you?  What about when your friend is flirting with men who aren’t her husband?  How about when your buddy’s jokes are only dirty ones anymore?  Have your friends started letting the youth hang out at their house and do things that are inappropriate?  Lines can get a little grayed at some point and subjects can get a little touchier.

It’s not always up to us to speak.  Sometimes, the Lord just calls us to pray.  If, after you have prayed; however, you still feel you need to speak then keep this in mind:  There is a popular mantra about thinking before we speak, and as friends, we definitely need to keep this in mind, because it’s so important HOW we say things.

When we are truly someone’s friend, and we say things from a place of love then they know it.  Even if they do get upset, if we have done it with the right heart, and we have prayed and thought before we have spoken, then we have done all we can to be faithful to them.  We never want to attack our friends from a place of anger or judgment.  So, as faithful friends, we may end up wounding our friends at times, but if we would pray first and think, then we would definitely have less to repair in our relationships.  My friend of 30 years would agree.  😉

Think first,

jamie

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Stop the flow while there’s time

Pr. 17:14:  “The beginning of strife is like releasing water; therefore stop contention before a quarrel starts.”

Can anyone attest to the truth of this!?

22 years ago today, my best friend died in a car wreck.  It was one of the most devastating days of my life.  It wasn’t just because she was gone.  Adding to that grief was the fact that at the time that she died, we had been fighting for several weeks.  Now she was gone and I’d never get a chance to change that fact.

The moment I found out she was gone, none of the issues we’d been fighting about mattered.  All I wanted was her.  I wanted to go back and tell her I was sorry, that it wasn’t really important, and hug her tight.  The fact that I couldn’t, the fact that I had been so stubborn and unforgiving, was something I would have to work through for a long time.

My sage advice today is to let it go.  If, in the next moment, the person you’re striving with was gone, would it really matter?  Before it gets worse, choose to put a stop to it.  You never know if you’ll get another moment to show love.

Experienced,

jamie

 

Month of Prayer, Day 13

Lord, just like the writer of Ps. 119:59, I thought about my ways and turned my feet to Your testimonies.  I made haste and did not delay, for Your Word says that those who disdain correction will find poverty and shame.  Those who regard a rebuke; however, will be honored.  Lord, more than honor for me, I want my life to honor You.  Thank You for delivering me from destruction.

Pr. 13:4 says, “The soul of a lazy man desires, and has nothing; but the soul of the diligent shall be made rich.”  Lord, if it takes me getting up at midnight to praise You; or reading Your Word in the early hours of the morning, that is what I will do.  I will be diligent in my pursuit of You in order that my soul might be rich.  You are better than any treasure.  The wisdom that I gain from Your Word is life-giving and more advantageous than any other knowledge I could gain.  When I listen to my Father’s instructions, I am wise.

Guide my feet to wise men and women who also fear You.  Give me companions that keep Your precepts and understand that the earth is full of Your mercy.  This way, Lord, You may turn us away from the snares of death.

Help me to act with knowledge and not folly.  Help me to fear Your commandments all the days of my life.  I long for that eternal reward…eternity with You.  I love You, Lord, and I thank You for giving me Your Word and for loving me enough to discipline me when necessary.  Thank You for wanting me that much.  You are an amazing Father!

I love you,

jamie

The blessing of friendship

Pr. 17:17:  “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”

Good, true friends are a treasure.  God knows we have need of affection and companionship and I believe He sends the right people into our lives for the right moments.  I love the stories of the friendship of David and Jonathan in 1 Samuel.  Despite his father, Jonathan was a true friend to David.  What a privilege for them to have a friendship so strong.

It is rare to find a friendship that is as strong as that.  Most often we have more acquaintances or friendly relationships.  Occasionally, however, we find another person with whom we connect in a way that is deeper than just association.  What happens to cause a friendship so strong that it causes one to love another as his own soul, as David loved Jonathan?  Loyalty.

When a friend is around during the good times it is great fun.  It’s always good to have some good laughs and to find others who amuse us and give good conversation.  However, when a friend is around and constant during the hard times in life, they become more like a brother or sister to us.  It is so comforting to know that there is someone with whom you can be yourself.  It is a wonderful to have someone in whom you can confide.  It is a blessing to know that there is one who will lift you up when you are down.

Often, when people go through truly hard times, people will actually pull away.  When the good times are gone, they may not see much point in hanging around, or they just don’t know how they can help.  It is during those hard times that you find your “brother” or your “sister.”  The ones who not only hang around, but who encourage you, uphold you, allow you to lean on them, and who continue in prayer for you will stand out as ones who are truly loyal.

Let me encourage you today.  If you have a friend who is facing adversity, dig in and encourage them.  In the end, you may just find that you have found a new brother or sister, and if the time ever comes when you’re the one facing the hardship, that dear friend will be right there to return the favor.

If you are in the middle of adversity today, and all your friends have pulled away, I pray that the Holy Spirit will surround and comfort you today.  Surely, Jesus is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.  He loved you so much that He died just for you.  Call out to Him today and the Comforter will be swift to uphold you.

Affectionately,

jamie