Saturday, May 31, 2008

What Defines a Real Friend?

*Pic is of my dad and I on Memorial Day. My good friend!
These days I feel that it is extremely hard to find a REAL friend. I don't mean where you say hello and goodbye at church. If you never have one confrontation in 10 years, does that mean you just really get along? Or is it because you are too scared to show any kind of disagreement? I learned that it is foolish to comment on EVERY single thing you disagree with. BUT.... I've also learned that it is okay if it's a really, really important and moral issue. Am I a real friend if I see that she/he is going down a scary path and I say nothing? Where is the line? What if you see that someone else has come along and whispered things in their ears such as lies and false accusations about other people. (Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character." 1 Corinthians 15: 33) YOU see it because you are on the sidelines, but your friend doesn't see it. They are blind to it because they get the goodies. I know what it's like to be blind sighted. To think that someone really cares about you. (A righteous man is cautious in friendship, but the way of the wicked leads them astray. Proverbs 12:26) They give you gifts, take you out, buy you what you want, tell you what you want... in the meantime, they are slowly pulling you away from people who really care about you. (Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses. Proverbs 27:6) I'm tired of being the friend that just sits back and watches. Doesn't say anything for the sake of keeping the friendship. So they won't get mad at you and not speak to you again. My gosh, if I was headed down a path, away from God, I would hope to God that a friend would come to me... shake me and say "Wake up, Virginia! I care about you. God cares about you! Don't throw it all away." (Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Proverbs 27:5) That's what a real friend will do. I've had people cut me off, several people, because I loved them enough to do just that. I love them with all of my heart. I hold no bitterness towards them, no hatred, no envy, none of that. I just LOVE them. Where are friends like that??? Are there any? Not shallow friends that the moment you disagree with one thing, they take off. I realize now that those friendships were shallow.
F- Fun loving; Feeling of acceptance; Faithful
R- Risk being real, understood, even misunderstood (He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends. Proverbs 17:9)
I- Interested in the welfare of others; Impartial
E- Expect the best of others; Empathetic
N- Natural relationship, a wholesome acceptance of others; Non-exclusive
D- Diplomatic; Delightful to be with; Durable in hard times
S- Sympathetic; Supportive with prayer and help; Stable
H- Helpful; Hopeful; Healing; Happy
I- Interdependent by helping others
P- Patient; Protective of reputation and confidences; Pleasant to be with; Personable
I got that out of a devotional in my bible and some things stood out to me that I find are hard to find in real friendships these days. Remember when everyone had a porch out front and they took the time to visit with neighbors? I remember actually knowing our neighbors. There used to be this old man and his wife who would invite us kids in and have a bible study with us every week. It was amazing! I'll never forget them. They cared about the kids they didn't even know, just to share the gospel with them. They didn't get any recognition. Those are REAL friends. Shallow people hang out with those that make them look good. What about reaching out to those who have no friend? Be confidential with things that they poured out to you. (A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates the close friends. Proverbs 16:28) Why is it so hard to find someone who can keep a secret? I prayed everyday that God would bring me a friend, a real friend. Sure I have tons of acquaintances! I mean a real friend who patterns their life after Proverbs 31. A woman who strives to live right. Someone who loves life!
I thank God that He brought me a husband who is a real friend. :D Someone I can confide in, laugh with, pray with. I know he'll tell me the truth when I'm off track. LOL! I can't forget how lucky I really am to have Charles. What is friendship to you?
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