Theme of the Week: Friendship
Bible Verse: “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:8-10
Scripture Reading: 1 Peter 4:1-11
Have you noticed how your understanding of friendship has changed as you’ve aged? Of course, this is a necessary and obvious part of maturing. As you grow, your knowledge and insight into the realms of life deepens and your comprehension expands.
The older I get, the more I realize the value of friends and the cost of true friendship. True friendship is both letting someone into your life an entering the life of another. The good, the bad, and the ugly, are all on display (and it’s probably no coincidence that two of the three in that list are on the unpleasant side).
Psychologists and social scientists talk about our capacity for intimate relationships. We can have a certain number of close friends and more acquaintances, more people can fill the circles the further out from the center we get. But one thing still holds true. Each of those relationships should be characterized by love.
When Jesus called us to love others, He didn’t put special definitions of love on differing circles of people. He called us to love friends, family, coworkers, strangers, teammates, acquaintances all in the same way, the way Paul describes it in 1 Corinthians 13: patient, kind, no record of wrongs, persevering . . .
Friendship takes work. Genuinely loving others is almost counterintuitive, at least to the way we want to react and behave in our selfish nature. Are you willing, with the help of the Spirit, to be a friend to others?
Prayer: Jesus, thank you for being a friend who is closer than a brother. Thank you for continuing to make me into someone who acts like you. Help me to love others the way I love myself. Help me to look for their good. Give me the strength and desire to be a friend to someone who needs one.
Reflection: Who can you be a friend to today? Who has a need that you can meet?
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