IRON SHARPENS IRON… FRIENDSHIP

IRON SHARPENS IRON (2)

It may hurt, but a Christian friend will always be honest with you about everything.  Do I really want anything less?  No.  No, I don’t.  – Linda Palmer

IRON SHARPENS IRON

I cherish my Christian friends because of their honesty.  More importantly, I am so thankful for the tact and sweetness with which they convey that honesty.  When you love someone in the Lord, you always make the attempt to be loving and kind – so even when you have to be honest, it doesn’t have to be brutal.

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.  – Proverbs 27:17

Unfortunately, there is an over abundance of people who are brutally honest.  It doesn’t even bother me that they are that way, but it’s the attitude that underlies that brutality – like they are proud of the fact that they are brutal.  It seems so unnecessary and cruel to me.  It’s not God’s way of doing things.  There’s an old saying – “God don’t like ugly.”  To tell you the truth, He doesn’t like cruel much either.

If a person has to fling corrective criticism at me, I’d rather it be a fellow believer than not.  Sparing me of certain phrases and words from the sewer  suits me fine.  A sweet friend of mine once said, “If a person has to resort to language like that, they clearly lack imagination.”  Lee is long gone, but her wise words live on in my heart and spirit.

Many in the world and of the world have said they don’t “trust” the ways of Christ.  If a person is going to criticize, they think, it should be mean spirited – or the point will not get across.  They don’t believe the lesson can be learned without brutality and vulgarity.

I pity them because it takes so much emotional energy to be that way.  They refuse to cast their burdens on the Lord, so they still carry them around.  No wonder it’s easy for them to lose control of temper and lash out at others.  As Christians, we give our stress and anxiety to God, lighten our own burden, thus we’re able to be sweet spirited in any circumstance.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.   – Galatians 5:22-23

In all circumstances we portray the fruits of the spirit:

  1. LOVE
  2. JOY
  3. PEACE
  4. FORBEARANCE
  5. KINDNESS
  6. GOODNESS
  7. FAITHFULNESS
  8. GENTLENESS
  9. SELF-CONTROL

I’m so very thankful for my Christian friends.  In this mean, brutal, cruel world, we sure do need each other!  🙂

 

 

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1 JOHN 4:16 ON 4/16

1 JOHN 4 16 ON 4 16

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.  God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.  – 1 John 4:16

Aren’t you so thankful for the love of God?  We can’t always depend on friends or loved ones to have unconditional love – but God understands us when no one else does.

Hurt people hurt people.  That’s how pain patterns get passed on, generation after generation.  Break the chain today.  Meet anger with sympathy, contempt with compassion, cruelty with kindness.  Greet grimaces with smiles.  Forgive and forget about finding fault.  Love is the weapon of the future.  – Yehada Berg

Yesterday a “friend” on facebook disapproved of an opinion I had.  It’s no secret that I’m a conservative Republican and there are certain hot topics that push my buttons.  I’m not a fan of socialism at all.  My parents lived through WWII and I’m well versed on the benefits of living in a free nation.

My “friend” told me she thought I was hard-hearted and didn’t think my opinion was very Christian like.  Sometimes “friends” can be downright judgmental and cruel.  It’s funny that a person who does not know the real me (we’ve never met) has the nerve to say those things.  Well – I think she completely misunderstood what I was saying – but we know misunderstandings happen between friends – sadly, even between Christian friends.

Those comments really hurt me and I asked God to help me be kinder and softer – and I asked Him to help me forgive and forget.  The faster I can do that – the happier I will be.  God knew what I was trying to say on my timeline – and I guess that’s all that matters.  Should I not voice an opinion on facebook?  Sometimes when I bite my tongue, I almost bite it in half!  Believe it or not, I’ve shown great restraint!

I don’t think it’s wrong for me to have an opinion about the direction our country is going in.  If we just stay quiet, does that help?  Has it helped so far?  We all need God’s strength and His comfort.  His light and His guidance.  The future frightens me and I love liberty and freedom.  I see it slipping away bit by bit and oh yes – that scares me.  And yes, I know God is in control.

At times like this I’m reminded of this familiar verse:

God didn’t promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, or sun without rain, but He did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears, and light for the way. If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.  – Unknown

Unknown sure does write some good stuff!  It’s a shame we can’t give someone credit for those wise words.  They are so true!  Because God loves us so much, He will help us do better and be better.  I still don’t think it’s right for Christian brothers and sisters to browbeat each other into “submission” – that’s not our job.  Instead, we need to pray for one another – even when we don’t agree with each other.  God can deal with each of us so much better than anyone else.

Look, nobody is perfect – and I’m like at the very TOP of that imperfect list.  I do my best to be kind and loving, and if something I say doesn’t come across that way, I do apologize.  I hope you will forgive me.

YOUR VICTORY IS WON

On Easter we celebrated the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!  He is our example and He is the one who will help all of us be better human beings.  Criticism from other Christians really doesn’t do much to help anyone.  But God – and God’s patience, His guidance and His love – will stay with each of us – forever.  He will make me better.  I listen to His gentle prodding.  His Holy Spirit helps me, comforts me and sustains me.

It does my heart so much good to know I’m not the only conservative in the country.  I’m in good company!

We drove around in an old Pontiac…  towing a one-wheel trailer.  We weren’t itinerant:  It wasn’t The Grapes of Wrath, but it wasn’t uptown either.  It gives you a sort of conservative background, being raised in an era when everything was scarce.  – Clint Eastwood

Well – we had an old 1968 Chevy – when I got my driver’s license, mom and I shared the car.  I drove to school and when I got home, she drove to the grocery store.  We were not a wealthy family – and yes, when material possessions are scarce, you appreciate and take better care of what you have.  People make me feel like I have to apologize for that – and no, I won’t.  I’m so very grateful for all I have.  Today I don’t want for anything because I know what it’s like to have nearly nothing.

Shouldn’t we be adult enough to discuss political differences without name calling? If I have a political opinion that you don’t agree with, don’t poke at my standing with the Lord!  That’s not cool.  I’m praying for your enlightenment on the matter.

The day the Lord created hope was probably the same day He created Spring.  – Bern Williams

To the sister who wants me to grow a more tender heart:  you really don’t know me – but instead of criticizing and judging – try praying for this ultra-conservative Republican Christian.  I need it – I really do!  Wink!  😉

 

IRON SHARPENS IRON… FRIENDSHIP

IRON SHARPENS IRON (2)

FOR ALL YOU'VE DONE
When you were a child did you play on the teeter totter??? My friends and I spent hours on it – going up and down while we said little rhymes, like:

Teeter totter,
Bread and water,
Wash a fish with dirty water.

We also had fun with this classic as we went up and down:

Teeter totter up and down,
This is the way to London town,
One foot up, one foot down,
This is the way to London town.

If you were to try to play on a teeter totter alone, you’d find it quite difficult if not impossible. It takes two people to make a teeter totter work correctly. As children we learn how to play together and get along so that when we grow up we will know how to socialize, interact and work together. There are not many things you can do alone – or should have to do alone. A marriage is a great example of teamwork in action. If both people are not completely committed to it, the chances of success are slim at best.

Friendship is another good example of teamwork. Many times in life I have been on a teeter totter with a friend for a time, just to realize that while I’m up in the air, they decide to get off – then I go crashing to the ground! I think that has happened to most of us – but as we get older we just see it as a part of life. Every friend crosses our path for a certain purpose and for a given amount of time. It’s rare that a friendship is really forever. If you have one forever friend, you have a rare gift.

We should ask ourselves three questions before we speak: Is it true? Is it kind? Does it glorify Christ?  – Billy Graham

The ups and downs of any relationship are inevitable, whether it’s a marriage or a friendship. God did not make robots – He made human beings. We are moody and have a vast range of emotions and desires. What works for us one day may not work for us the next. It’s sad when one wants to grow and move beyond the status quo while the other wants to stay stuck in a rut. To say this is unhealthy is a dramatic understatement. Not only is one person unhappy and dissatisfied, but it does not please God either. He wants His children to grow in grace.

Choose the one you play on the teeter totter with very carefully. Make sure you choose someone who plays fair and won’t suddenly get off the teeter totter when they reach the ground, sending you straight down for a crash landing!

If you have the courage to walk away from toxicity in relationships, your life will improve. Once you know people who truly love and care for you, you will wonder why you did not move on sooner. Even if you are alone with no relationship or no friends, you are still better off than you were with the toxic people. Eventually you will find good people to surround yourself with – and life will be better and you will be much happier.

I’ll play on the teeter totter with you – but you have to play nice!

I know a Man who will never let you down!!! His name is Jesus.