Who are your friends? And what is the determining factor in your selection?
If you are a follower of Jesus, the decision has already been made for you.
In the passage below, the Psalmist makes a bold declaration about our relationships. I’m a friend and companion of all who fear you, of those committed to living by your rules.
Get it straight. If you know someone who fears God – seeks to serve Him and live according to his ways – he or she is your friend. Your companion in life. For life.
Sorry, you don’t get to judge their behavior, motives, or intentions. That job already belongs to Someone. Not you.
Worship styles, personal preferences, theological convictions, political leanings, lifestyle differences, socio-economic status, or fifteen other designations – it does not matter. Friendship in Christ is not based on any of those. I am a companion of anyone who fears God. So are you.
As we well know, a hyper-partisan, polarized, canceling spirit – an exceedingly narrow adaptation of the adage birds of a feather flock together – is the current that our culture beckons us to live in, to adopt and to endorse. Our affection and our assistance is limited to those who like us and who are like us.
No. We’re not birds; we are sheep in God’s flock. And Jesus never offered us the option of selecting who gets to be included with us, and who gets boxed out. He even commanded us: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.*
Let’s follow the winds of the Spirit in which we thrive and grow, not the cold, divisive winds of this age.
Because you have satisfied me, God, I promise to do everything you say. I beg you from the bottom of my heart: smile, be gracious to me just as you promised. When I took a long, careful look at your ways, I got my feet back on the trail you blazed. I was up at once, didn’t drag my feet, was quick to follow your orders. The wicked hemmed me in—there was no way out— but not for a minute did I forget your plan for me. I get up in the middle of the night to thank you; your decisions are so right, so true—I can’t wait till morning! I’m a friend and companion of all who fear you, of those committed to living by your rules. Your love, God, fills the earth! Train me to live by your counsel.
Psalm 119:57-64 The Message
Benediction of Blessing:
May the love of God, which fills the earth, always make its way into your heart, transforming your relationships.
May you take a long careful look at the ways of God, and be quick to get your feet back on Jesus’ trail.
May you be known as a friend of everyone who loves and serves God.
Note: Every other week the Blue Spigot includes a section of Psalm 119, a prayer from David that serves well as our prayer, asking God to rekindle in us a love for his word – both the Living Word, Jesus Christ, and the written version (the Bible). Pray it aloud. Pray it thoughtfully. And pray it several times over the next two weeks.
* Matthew 5:44-45
Friends: Photo by Valiant Made on Unsplash
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All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version, NIV. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. TM