Thursday, January 14, 2010

Friendship (part 2)

What if you found out that your friendship with a person wasn't beneficial to you. Would you remain friends with this person? I recall a message I heard from a well known pastor. He said that many times people won't witness to others because of the sacrifice of time it takes to make sure the new babe in Christ is alright. I didn't know how to digest that message at the time seeing that anyone who thought like that did away with Kingdom Living altogether seeing that it is based on Love in the first place. Sacrificing of oneself is the whole basis of Christianity. Isn't it written that we present these bodies a living sacrifice holy and acceptable unto God (Romans 12:1 KJV)? However, would that message apply to friendships?

We see celebrities with entourages all of the time. Why are all of these people around them? Because of love or of what they can obtain from the celebrity? Remember when MC Hammer had all of those people working for him in his hayday? He said these were his friends that he was helping them achieve a life outside of prison and a life where they had no future (paraphrasing). They worked hard on those dance videos. In fact it was the best musical act to date that Saturday Night Live ever had, in my opinion. But when all of that money was gone and he had to sell his mansion because of taxes, what happened to all of those friends. They made alot of money working for MC. Why didn't he speak so highly of anyone of them that helped him when he needed them the most? Were they even around? If he had a hit single, would he do the same thing now as he did then?

Is it a conundrum when we consider helping someone else for their benefit rather than our own? In the first part of this blog, I mentioned a four year friendship that, at the time, was a waste. I did back flips (exaggeration) to keep the peace in spite of her criticism of everything I did. Sometimes a conversation on the phone was just tiring. She wouldn't listen if what she had to say was more important. I would leave the phone and go do something else knowing she was still talking oblivious to being a blessing or a hindrance. I would then return and she never knew I left. She never stopped talking!

Would it be a sacrifice to maintain such a friendship? She would turn her phone off at night, so if I needed someone to pray with, I would not be able to reach her yet she could reach me at all hours. How much of a sacrifice is too much? When do we say, when. Jesus didn't allow just anyone to walk with Him who asked. He had criteria (as much as we would not like to believe). We think that come as you are means that we follow Him no matter what state we are in. Nope, we come as we are to church to hear the Word and in so doing, we are increasing our faith. Jesus told a certain man to go and sell all he had and then give the money to the poor before he could come follow Him. The man went away grieved (Luke 18:18-25 KJV). The Word doesn't tell us that he came back after following the instruction. The man in the cave that was possessed with many asked to follow Jesus and He said instead to go through all of the provinces and tell of what has happened to him (Mark 5:1-20 AMP). So then why would we sacrifice our own personal peace and well being just to maintain a friendship?

The message the pastor spoke about was of someone being selfish. If you found a baby having full knowledge that baby would be in need of the basics, even if you couldn't do it yourself, you would find someone who could. Could this not also be true of witnessing to someone. You might not have the time to call and check to see if the person is going to church or reading his/her bible on a regular basis, but you know of someone who could. How much does it take to sacrifice some of your time to pray for an individual? My purpose is for you not to be fooled. You might think it is a loving and humbling thing to do to incorporate someone in your life whose whole intent is to leech off of you, but I can write with total conviction, God did not intend for you to do this.

Remember the stories of the Old Testament. God gave and gave to the children of Israel and still they complained wanting more. Solomon was made the richest man in the world and still was disobedient marrying over 700 hundred women that did not have the same faith. Saul was given kingship and still went to look for a psychic for advice. You can only do so much and then when you see that what you are doing is enabling a person not to do for himself, you then are the hindrance. It is the same as helping a defenseless new born chick from the imprisonment of his shell. The moment you take the smallest piece from the chick, the chick stops trying thinking you will do it all if you've done that much. Eventually the chick dies because it never learned the struggle to survive.

Friendships shouldn't be so hard to figure out. You become friends because of initial common interests, the conversation is stimulating, there is a give and take and what you receive is as rich as what you gave. Its easy. Its one of the blessings in life that seem effortless. When you have to start screening your calls and avoiding any sort of contact with the other person - let it go. It isn't worth the acrobatics.

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