By: Carol McClain @carol_mcclain
I've recently moved to a new state--one foreign in all ways to New York where I've lived my entire life.
One of the first things on our agenda was to find friends. And we did find them--plenty of friends to augment the wonderful people we know in Malone.
And what were the qualities that made a friend? How do they compare with God's friendship with us?
|Not only His sheep, but His Friends.|
Qualities of Friends:
- They find you. Of course this is reciprocated. During one of our first forays into forming friendships at a fellowship meals at church, Wilma introduced herself. She took us under her care like Mother Ginger in The Nutcracker Suite. Because of her, we settled into First Baptist.
- So, too, God finds us. If He draws us to Him because He loves us, He's not going to ditch us if we do something wrong.
- They enjoy your company. Shann and Ann invite us out all the time. We explore restaurants and concerts in the park. We share stories and conversation and life histories simply because we enjoy each other's company.
- So, too, God enjoys our company. He spoke to Moses, "as a man speaks with his friend" (Ex 33:11).
- God is no respecter of persons, Acts 10:34. If Moses and Abraham and the disciples were deemed friends, then we are, too.
- A friend speaks the truth to you in grace. A good friend tells you when you have lettuce in your teeth or your skirt is tucked into your pantyhose--without mockery or disdain. She, too, will tell you when you've done wrong or hurt her.
- God loves us too much to keep us on a life path leading to destruction. Therefore, when corrected, it doesn't mean we've failed. He's simply "getting the lettuce out of our teeth."
- Friends are trustworthy. My friends do what they say they are going to do. If we're going to meet at a restaurant, my friends show up. If told I will be invited to a party, the invitation comes. I leave my purse with them when I head to the ladies' room.
- "In You our fathers trusted; They trusted and You delivered them. To You they cried out and were delivered; In You they trusted and were not disappointed" (Ps. 22:4-5). Like a good human friend, if something doesn't work out the way we planned, there is a reason.
- Friends are supportive. When my Tennessee friends discovered I was an author, they bought (and read) my books--just as long-time Malone friends had. As new friends here face sickness, we go to the hospital, cook meals or attend funerals. In the good and in the bad, friends support us.
- God is the ultimate cheerleader of our lives. "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us" Rom. 8: 35-8
|A friend loves at all times. Prov. 17:17|
And of course, in the interest of time I let off many qualities--some probably most dear to you.
If God is our friend, then we don't have to be perfect. We love lose closest to us--friends, husbands, children--even though we are well aware of their imperfections.