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Seeking Wisdom, Day 18 – Riding High on Friendship

February 29, 2016

(Proverbs 18: 1-2) “Unfriendly people care only about themselves. They lash out at common sense. They have no interest in understanding. They only want to air their own opinions.”

Proverbs 18: 24) “There are friends who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.”

An old song goes, “Friendship, friendship, is a perfect blendship. When all the world has forgot, I will not.” The words are easily spoken, but not easy to remember. We all have an Achilles heel– are weak when we need to be strong– find it easier to lose a friend than to remain strong. Another song says, “You’re the cream in my coffee. You’re the salt in my stew. You will always be my necessity. I’d be lost without you.” The songs are glib, more easily said than  practiced.

Jesus recognized the importance of having friends, and he was a good friend to his  followers and to us. “What a friend we have in Jesus.” Jesus was incapable of hurt, jealousy, and anger, but he understood the human condition. He lacked the human temperament in order to show us the divine. Jesus understood his friends and disciples, forgiving them even before they turned away.

This Easter season I am reminded of two of Jesus friends, Judas and Peter. Judas betrayed Jesus to his enemies, collected a bribe, then killed himself in the realization of his weakness. Peter, the rock upon whom he would build his church, denied he knew Jesus three times, after saying to him, “If you’re in a jam, here I am.” –not exactly, but ouch!

Jesus made friends and kept them, weaknesses and all. As we become better acquainted  with people, we become familiar with their weaknesses and ignore that which we liked about them in the first place, their strengths.

My daughter, many years ago, was a Bluebird, and when the leader needed assistance,  I was drafted. In Bluebirds, we sang, “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold.” Hopefully, “When other friendships have been forgot, ours will not.”

In Proverbs 17: 17, I am reminded, “A friend is always loyal. Like a brother, he was born to help in the time of need.” And a friend when you need one is a friend indeed.

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