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Part 2- Paying through the Nose (FRIENDSHIPS)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Part 2- Paying through the Nose (FRIENDSHIPS)

"Casual neglect leads to catastrophic loss." I read this out of Ken Gire's book Window's of the Soul years ago. I haven't forgotten it.
King Solomon says it this way, "I passed by the field of a sluggard, by the vineyard of a man lacking sense, and behold, it was all overgrown with thorns; the ground was covered with nettles, and its stone wall was broken down.  Then I saw and considered it; I looked and received instruction.  A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest and poverty will come upon you like a robber and want like an armed man" (Proverbs 24:30-34).
Got any friendships that you've been neglecting?  Has the passage of time and lack of attention brought thorns and overgrowth of nettles and broke down walls in those relationships? Casual neglect can lead to catastrophic loss. Outside of Christ I can think of no other gift to the soul than family and friends. For now, let's go with friends. This is what I tend to neglect the most. I tend devote so much time, energy, anxiety, and resources toward people or groups of people whom a year or ten years from now I will never see or hear from again. But who will really matter when the lights go off in my world, sickness slams into my life, and the years creep up and over into my life? What about you?  Who will matter then? Who will look out for you? Provide for you? Care for you? Will your Degree matter? Your career? Your sport? Your TV? Your music? Your Wii? Your ministry? No. I'll tell you who will matter: Your family and true friends will matter then. But do they truly matter to you now? Why should we commit and devote more elsewhere than to those to whom we really matter and who really deep down matter to us?

I can do so much better as a friend.  I was convicted about this over Thanksgiving.  I deeply love my friends.  If I was truly thankful for my friends and loved them as deeply as I say, it would be revealed by how much I invest time and energy in them. I have allowed the walls to crack and nettles and thorns to grow between us. And when I say "friends" I'm not talking about Facebook or Myspace friends. I'm talking about those few friends that you do life with, whether in the everyday or by long distance. 

 
I'm sure you've heard of Mr. Bill O'Reilly. Fan or not, his words concerning friendships ring true to me. I read them years ago in his book, The O'Reilly Factor: The Good, the Bad, and the Completely Ridiculous in American Life.  Here 'tis:
"I make demands on my friends. I insist that my friends be loyal and keep their promises. I work hard to show that I am loyal to my friends, and I keep promises to them. If they think I let them down, I want to hear about it.  And vice-a-versa.  I expect friends to be friends and keep the friendship energy up---even when their circumstances change and their attention goes elsewhere. . . .  {W]e all need good friends.  Not people who supply with cocaine, or tell you what you only want to hear, or are interested in what you HAVE. No, you need people who are responsible, loyal, caring, and who are available and interested in what you are going through.  Such people are rare, and like all they rest of us they have their downsides.  But if you find a friend who earns your trust, hold on forever. Your life will be richer." (My emphasis) To have a close friend I have to be a close friend. I've realized lately that I'm investing more time and energy in things that truly don't matter as much as those whom I love, who love me, and who are committed to me to the end.  I want to be a better friend. What about you?
 

 

           
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