Theme of the Week: Friendship
Bible Verse: Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a.
Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 13:1-13
We floated down the river. Occasionally paddling back up to fish a particular spot a little longer. The conversation was intermittent; we were both focused on our lines. The potential for snags, the rocks, and the current, the growing length of our upstream return all occupied our minds.
The statement was unexpected. “I need your help.” We’d had some good conversations while we floated and fished. I considered us friends, and good friends. The conversation that followed, and how we each responded to the other, would reveal if we truly were friends in the truest sense. Was I willing to help him in the way he needed help? It was going to require some adjustments on my part: mental, emotional, and physical.
It would be great if I could say that my reaction was immediate and unconditioned. The truth is that I struggled a little. It was difficult.
We’ve noted that 1 Corinthians 13 is not about romantic love. It is about the kind of love that friends have for one another. It’s not a to-do list, but it can help us recognize if we are truly acting in love. This list highlights seven things that a loving friend does:
- Patient – accepts the aggravations, delays, and even suffering that comes with friendship without becoming annoyed.
- Kind – thoughtful, generous, and considerate of the other person. Looks for their happiness, healthiness, and holiness.
- Rejoices with the truth – celebrates the good things that happen to/for others.
- Protects – looks to keep others out of harm of all kinds.
- Trusts – Thinks the best of others and their intentions.
- Hopes – Desires and looks for the health and growth of the other.
- Perseveres – stays the course, lasts, does not give up or in.
When you examine your relationships, are they characterized by these things? We can thank Jesus for being our friend. His action towards us is characterized by each of these things. Which are you most grateful for?
Prayer: Jesus, thank you for modelling what it means to love. Your friendship toward us is amazing and we experience each of these things from you every day. Help me to show these traits to others. Help me to be a friend to those around me.
Reflection: Which trait do you most easily show to others? Which one is the most difficult? Which relationships test your development of these the most? My patience is being tested this very moment. 🙂
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