True Friendship

Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.” 1 Corinthians 15:33 (AMP)

As we go through life, we meet many people–some good, some bad. Some we really develop a deep relationship with and others are only people we meet in the tides of life. We are acquainted with them for a season of time then they melt away when there is no longer a connection. Although the friendship may seem really deep in the beginning, it turns into just a passing association with no real depth to hold it together.  You never know just when it happens, but you just grow and go in different directions, and lose touch with each other.

As I think about friendships I have had in the past or at least I thought they were friends, I realize that most of them were just associates (people you are familiar with but do not actually know well).  They were there for a time and then simply faded away.  I am not saying it was their fault. Sometimes I know it has been my fault.  Some I regret and some I do not.  The door to friendship swings both ways.

It is hard to find a true friend these days.  Someone who shows signs of true friendship and honestly wants the best for you and you for them. These qualities are usually the result of time and testing.

Signs of true friendship:

  • Won’t ask you to compromise your principles in the name of friendship or anything else. (Ask you to take merchandise from the store you work for.)
  • Inspires and motivates you to live up to your full potential and not to. cave into your weaknesses.
  • Willing to tell you the truth whether you want to hear it or not.
  • Look out for you when you won’t look out for yourself.  (won’t let you drive drunk)

Because friendship is a mutual aspiration connection, you also want the best for your friend as they want for you.  A true friend is hard to find. We as Believers must be careful to invest in friendships that will enhance us and not corrupt us.

I know that there have been times when I developed what I thought were friendships but actually resulted in the door of “so-called” friendship swinging only one way or they did enough to appear to be concerned but in reality were not (the door was only cracked). Because friendship can lead to putting down your guard, I have let myself be pulled into situations and done things I would not normally do for the sake of friendship.  Nothing illegal but just things that I now regret because I thought the person was a friend.

Now that I am older, I look to God’s Word to help me understand what true friendship should look like.  I found the friendship that existed between David and Jonathan (King Saul’s son).  Though they were both aware of Saul’s efforts to kill David. 1 Samuel 23:18 says, “And they two made a covenant before the LORD: and David abode in the wood and Jonathan went to his house.” (KJV)  Friendship is an entire sameness and one soul.  A friend is another self.  Someone who has similar morals and beliefs as you will always tell you the truth. After reading about this true and lasting friendship that continued even after Jonathan’s death, I have to admit that I have only experienced anything like this type of true friendship1friendship outside of my family maybe once.  Unfortunately, my friend died several years ago.  Now I know a lot of people and have several people I consider close associates, but if I compare them to David’s and Jonathan’s friendship, I am still lacking.

If during the course of your life you find one person who will share a friendship like David and Jonathan had, hold on to it.  Such a relationship is to be prized and preserved as a valued treasure.

I want to ask you a question:  Do you have friends or do you have a lot of associates?

Integrity

Definition:  Quality of being honest and having strong moral principles, morally upright.

The integrity and moral courage of the upright will guide them, But the crookedness of the treacherous will destroy them. (Proverbs 11:3, AMP)

Do you try to do your very best at everything you set your hand to or do youintegrity just do enough to get by?  As a Believer you should be striving for excellence, using Jesus as a  model.  It is unlikely that any of us will totally be able to match His model, but we can keep reaching towards the goal knowing that as long as we are trying we will continue to move forward.  We live in a world where mediocrity and substandard are a norm. How do we stand out in a world that imbues average as normal?  Where it is good enough to get by is always the response when you seek better quality or performance.

I am constantly reminded by my grandson when I tell him he must excel in his education, work up to his full potential,  and get into the habit of doing more in order to prepare for the type of life he says he want that I am passing all my classes with average grades. Or if I tell him that he is not living up to his full potential,  I get a, “Everyone else is doing it”.  My response to him is that you are not like everyone else, you want to get all that has been destine for you. To get it, you must give nothing less than the best and accept nothing less than the best.  No one can or should measure him/herself by anyone else.  I remind him that excellence should not only be his goal, but it is mine also, and there are times when I fall short and must try harder. Old habits are hard to break it is better to form good habits when you are young.

How do we change this habit of mediocrity–one task at a time.  Goals must be set and habits developed by each Believer that exemplify instead of float along on a sea of mediocrity.  Our behavior and performance should reflect a belief that Jesus is watching us because he is. “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth.…” (2 Chronicles 16:9, KJV) “And not a creature exists that is concealed from His sight, but all things are open and exposed, and revealed to the eyes of Him with whom we have to give account.” (Hebrews 4:13, AMP)

Integrity is an individual choice of how we wish to life.  As a Believer, living a life based on integrity should be one of the characteristics that shows that although you are a part of the world you are not of the world.

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