Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 June 2010 Proverbs 18:24‏

Proverbs 18:24     A man that hath friends must show himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh close than a brother.
 
Oh Friends, it’s Friday, the last day of the work week, the start of the weekend, and many of you all can’t wait to get into relaxation and party mode, but please, don’t forget the fellowship part. The Lord needs more attention than we can give Him during the week, so please MAKE TIME for Him on your days off. And remember to pray for our leaders to make good, productive decisions at their meetings here in Toronto this weekend, with no violence or destruction to mar the proceedings. Now here’s a very interesting quote that led me to our Bit. It’s attributed to Paramahansa Yogananda (1893-1953) an Indian yogi and guru who introduced many in the West to meditation and spirituality. It says: ‘There is a magnet in your heart that will attract true friends. That magnet is unselfishness, thinking of others first.’ Ah Friends, how does that resonate in our consciousness eh? Do we consider it true or important? Before we do anything else, let me say that I’m dealing with our Bit today in it’s literal sense, from the positive side, though it was not meant that way. Also, let’s lay out a definition of the word ‘friend.’ The dictionary has two basic definitions: ‘One joined to another in intimacy and mutual benevolence independently of sexual or family LOVE.’ And the second is ‘to befriend or help.’ In truth, they can be linked as one, for a true friend, under the first definition, will help you, and if someone helps you, even a total stranger, they can be considered a friend. So I guess we can have equations where Friend = Help and Help = Friend. Now what draws us to others as friends, or others to us as a friend? There must be some common traits. And I’d like to suggest that our quote above includes two of them; unselfishness and thinking about others first. Another can be found in our Bit: ‘A man that hath friends must show himself friendly.’ And is that ever so true! But what is showing ourselves friendly? In the first place our basic personality must be pleasant. We can’t go around with a sour demeanour all the time and expect people to be drawn to us, we’d get the opposite. It’s like the saying that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. Our words and tone of voice must also lend themselves to encouragement and a certain amount of light heartedness. And we must always be willing to help. Hn! Yuh know what Friends, I just realized that when you put all that friend stuff together, what you come up with is a perfect description of a Christian, a follower of Christ. Isn’t that amazing? Although it shouldn’t be, because the best explanation and example of a real, true friend comes from Jesus. ‘Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.’ (John 15:13-15) That’s why I can call you all Friends in the Bit, though I don’t know many of you, for we are all Friends in Christ! We have the same basic goals and beliefs, as well as having pleasant personalities’, unselfishness, willingness to help, and two other attributes that show up in Jesus’ speech; willingness to share and willingness to sacrifice in times of desperation and need. As Cousin Sol puts it: ‘A friend LOVETH at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.’ (Prov.17:17) Yes my people, a true friend possesses a LOVE that cannot be extinguished, neither is it lessened by adversity. That also sounds like the definition of a believer, doesn’t it? Unfortunately though, in our modern society that word friend and what it means has been seriously watered down. The standards of friendship are nowhere what they used to be. Any passing acquaintance is now called a friend, but the underlying responsibilities and qualities are sadly missing. Just look at all the betrayals, backbiting and gossip mongering that’s being perpetrated on supposed friends by friends. Relationships are no longer solid and long lasting as they used to be, since so many are now based on sandy foundations plus our society has moved into a first person phase, of I, me and mine, in other words unadulterated selfishness and ego boosting which aren’t, and can never be a part of true friendship. That brings us to the last part of our Bit: ‘and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.’ Oh my Friends in Christ that’s ever so true! I’m sure all of you know about family members that treat each other terribly, while outsiders bring a much more friendly, sharing and supportive attitude to the table. Why is that eh? I’ve seen it happen so often that it just sickens me. From day one I’ve told my children that family is the most important part of the equation, and that there shouldn’t be any of the senseless, selfish infighting that’s so common today, for if one side falls, it will take down the whole structure. Besides, that type of behaviour is definitely not Christ-like, or Christian. It’s not the way Jesus wants, or expects us to behave. So Friends, let’s see if we can’t do better than we’re doing nuh, and live like true friends. I’m sure we can because we all consider ourselves true believers … Friends. That’s what Jesus called His disciples, the ones who believed in and followed Him. And if we want to do the same, then we’ve also got to be worthy of the name. Tomorrow, God willing, we’ll touch on the negative aspect of our Bit. Much LOVE!…oh what a Friend we have in Jesus…our hopes and fears to bear…  
 

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