Stuck Like Glue
We all want good friends and hopefully we want to be good friends. I would go so far as to say we need good friends. Did you know that God wants us to have and be good friends? He wants us to be the kind of friends that are “stuck like glue”. The bible is full of encouragement for Christians to be and keep good friends. There is the story of David and Jonathan and of Ruth and Naomi. Plus Jesus told his disciples after he had taught them and matured them that he now considered them friends (John 15:15). We should be friendly toward non-believers and treat them with love but we should seek good Christian friends to be in relationship with.
“A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Prov 8:24
We know that Paul and Timothy were very good freinds. Paul reminds us all when he tells Timothy, “I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” (2 tim 1:1-10). This is good encouragement and advice from one friend to another. Lets look deeper:
- God first – put God first in our own life and look for other that put God first in their lives (mk 12:30). When you see your friends putting God first in their lives, especially when they do it in relationship to you, encourage them. It might hurt a little but that’s the kind of twang that is good for you. The key is priorities. We can always get along and see our way through disagreements if we have our relationship in correct priority and submit to that priority in others. It serves as the foundation of common ground we can all agree on. If we demand to be the most important to another then we corrupt that common thread.
- Loving – Treat others the way you want to be treated ( mk 12:31 ). Jesus was always loving but without sacrificing honesty. Jesus was open and honest with his disciples (mt.13:17). We should follow the example and always consider the preciousness of others with love and truth. Sometimes the truth stings a bit so be willing to hear it from your friends and remember it is the truth that hurts you and not the speaker of it.
- Unselfish – Jesus commanded us to love one another and chose to define that love by saying love like Jesus loves ( jn 13:34 ). Besides truthfully and honestly he also loved unselfishly and sacrificially. That doesn’t neccessarily mean we have to be crucified for each other but is be happy for others too much? We should not be jealous of our friends successes but be the first to praise them and turn over any enviousness to God in prayer. Unselfishness does not mean that you don’t hold each other accountable and inspire each other but “Stuck like Glue” friendships are not competitive because that leads to bitterness.
- Ever Forgiving – Even though we are redeemed we are still fallen. We have not been completely sanctified yet. That is an ongoing process (2Thes2:13). We still mess up, make mistakes and sin and seek forgiveness from God which he has promised to grant us. So because we are creatures of ongoing forgiveness then we should be forgiving creatures (Mt 18:32-33). God even puts it to us that we must forgive others (Mt 6:15) in order to be forgiven. Not only that but we should be very generous in our forgiveness just as God is with us (Mt 18:22). Peter asked Jesus directly how many times should we forgive each other? Jesus said seventy times seven which basically meant just keep forgiving even after you loose count.
And there you have it. Four simple principles to having and being good christian friends. I hope that you and I can be stuck like glue!by