Christian friendship

I have great Christian friends who have been there for me through thick and thin.  This morning I want to honor friendship.  “Let love be genuine…Love one another with brotherly affection” (Rom. 12:9).  Are you lucky enough to have friends who love you unconditionally?  Friends like that don’t care about where you are from, your status, or anything else.  They love you because they see value in you that even you may not see.  I have brothers and sisters in Christ who have showered me with that kind of love, and if you are one of them, thanks.

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another…” (Jam. 5:16).  Do you have friends who trust you enough to confide in you and in whom you confide?  Do you pray for them, and they for you?  I have friends who pray for my family and me every day and who trust me as much as I trust them.  I share that kind of relationship with my friends, and if you are one of them, thanks.

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2).  Do you have friends who are willing to bear your burdens with you or even take them away at times?  They are there when you are down, reaching out to you to pick you up and carry you and your burdens until you have the strength to walk on your own again.  But even then, they do not leave and refuse to let go of the load, just walking next to you in case you stumble again.  I have friends like that and if you are one of them, thanks.

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing” (1 Thess. 5:11).  Do you have friends who encourage you and build you up?  They seem to know just what to say to motivate you to not only overcome difficulties but to drive you on to be the best Christian you can be.  I am blessed to have encouragers as friends, and if you are one of them, thanks.

Let the word of God dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom” (Col. 3:16).  Do you have friends who will sometimes gently and other times sternly admonish you?  They have your best interests at heart and aren’t afraid to “slap some sense into you” – not because they are mean, but because they want you to be a better person.  I have friends like that and if you are one of them, thanks.

Love is patient and kind” (1 Cor. 13:4).  Do you have friends who bear with your shortcomings with patience and kindness, allowing you to be you despite those shortcomings?  They are not easy to find, but I am lucky enough to count my friends among the patient and kind.  If you allow me to be me and overlook my shortcomings, thanks

“…bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive” (Col. 3:13).  Do you have friends who have had to forgive you some trespass?  They refuse to allow mistakes to trash a good friendship and consider the company more valuable than the mistake. If you consider my friendship more important than my mistakes, thanks.

We all have acquaintances we call friends, but you know they are more than that if you have friends like mine.  They are brothers and sisters in Christ and live Phil. 2:3, “…count others more significant than yourselves.”  Thanks for being all this to me, loving me without reservation, and being there during the most challenging times in my life.  You have enriched my life girded me in times of difficulty with a listening ear and words of exhortation.  Without you, I would be far less reason to be happy than I am today – so again, thank you.

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