Daily Word for Monday, September 7, 2015
To share a relationship about God, we must first be in relationship with Him. In Exodus 33, God called a man, friend. Friends share their deepest secrets; it’s a mark of true friendship.
Psalm 25:14 says, “The secret of the LORD is with those who fear Him, and He will show them His covenant.”
The truth is you will not relate well with people for God if you do not relate well with God. True friendship requires commitment. Proverbs 17:17 says, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”
I Samuel 18:1-4 illustrates true friendship as seen through David and Jonathan, Saul’s son; [Now when he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. 2 Saul took him that day, and would not let him go home to his father’s house anymore. 3 Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. 4 And Jonathan took off the robe that was on him and gave it to David, with his armor, even to his sword and his bow and his belt.]
This was not a fleeting relationship but a lasting one. Commitment is the glue that bonds a friendship; external circumstances can’t break that bond.
We must be careful to eliminate hindrances to the development and maintenance of friendship.
1. Jealousy and envy turn quickly into anger and bitterness resulting in division.
I Samuel 18:5-13 – So David went out wherever Saul sent him, and behaved wisely. And Saul set him over the men of war, and he was accepted in the sight of all the people and also in the sight of Saul’s servants. 6 Now it had happened as they were coming home, when David was returning from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women had come out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with tambourines, with joy, and with musical instruments. 7 So the women sang as they danced, and said: “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.” 8 Then Saul was very angry, and the saying displeased him; and he said, “They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed only thousands. Now what more can he have but the kingdom?” 9 So Saul eyed David from that day forward. 10 And it happened on the next day that the distressing spirit from God came upon Saul, and he prophesied inside the house. So David played music with his hand, as at other times; but there was a spear in Saul’s hand. 11 And Saul cast the spear, for he said, “I will pin David to the wall!” But David escaped his presence twice. 12 Now Saul was afraid of David, because the LORD was with him, but had departed from Saul. 13 Therefore Saul removed him from his presence, and made him his captain over a thousand; and he went out and came in before the people.
2. Unforgiveness can shut that door of hope on friendship.
Genesis 50:14-21 – And after he had buried his father, Joseph returned to Egypt, he and his brothers and all who went up with him to bury his father. 15 When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “Perhaps Joseph will hate us, and may actually repay us for all the evil which we did to him.” 16 So they sent messengers to Joseph, saying, “Before your father died he commanded, saying, 17 ‘thus you shall say to Joseph: “I beg you, please forgive the trespass of your brothers and their sin; for they did evil to you.”’ Now, please, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of your father.” And Joseph wept when they spoke to him. 18 Then his brothers also went and fell down before his face, and they said, “Behold, we are your servants.” 19 Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? 20 But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. 21 Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones.” And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.
3. Lack of respect and appreciation is the way of crippling friendship.
Psalm 41:9 – Even my best friend, the one I trusted completely, the one who shared my food, has turned against me.
Kindness and generosity attract; anger and selfishness repel. Ephesians 4:32 says, “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”
So how do we maintain friendship?
1. Become a good listener; desire to understand before being understood.
2. Be empathetic with friends; make sure they win in your relationship.
3. Manage your relationship. Be accountable; hold them accountable.
4. Be honest and open; be self-revealing not self-concealing.
5. Be proactive not reactive.
6. Maintain a positive attitude. Show gratitude; treat others as equals.
Peace and blessings!