Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 June 2010 Proverbs 18:24‏

Proverbs 18:24     A man that hath friends must show himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

 

Oh Friends, the Summits have begun, and Fortress Toronto is in the world spotlight. So far there have been only a few minor skirmishes, no serious confrontations between protesters and the security forces, which are expected to number some 19,000 between the two venues. Wow! If that isn’t police overkill I don’t know what is. Our Provincial Govt. even passed a law secretly for the occasion, giving police the power to arrest anyone who comes within 5 metres of the perimeter and refuses to show identification. Hn! And we spout about democracy and freedom! Where is it eh? Only in our minds I guess, because since 9/11 the powers that be have used it and all the terrorism talk as an excuse to strengthen the military and police powers. Anyway Friends, the big 8, or however many they are up there, will finish in Huntsville today, and proceed to Toronto to become the big 20, or however many again. That’s when the fireworks, if any, are expected to begin. So my people, I urge, implore, plead and beg us to pray sincerely and diligently that no serious issues develop, and that our leaders make this a truly memorable occasion with lots of good stuff actually being done because of it. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen. Yesterday, we looked at our Bit from a positive context, today, we’ll look at it in the negative light which Cousin Sol apparently meant it. ‘A man that hath friends must show himself friendly:’ He was talking sort of tongue in cheek, making a positive statement but actually with a negative meaning; that those who have too many friends will very likely come to ruin. And that’s no lie! If we spread ourselves too thin with a lot of superficial relationships, improperly termed friendships, we will certainly rue the day of our birth. I don’t know how many times my mother cautioned me about particular friends and friends in general, saying that I have to be careful whom I consider friends, because it’s very easy for friends to lead you astray. And that’s the gospel truth my people! And I’m talking now from hard, personal experience, for though my mother’s warning rang in my ears, at each stage of my life I’ve been undone by so-called friends. In my youth, I felt the lash of her strap when I followed friends where I wasn’t supposed to, while later on the price was paid in money and emotional discomfort. Now it hasn’t been as bad as it sounds, but there have been some really unexpected friendship disappointments. But what hurt the most in those betrayals was not so much what they did, but more how they did it; in almost every case, behind my back with no warning whatsoever. With some we were involved in projects, quite closely in my opinion, but then they’d suddenly disappear, or stop calling, stop coming around, even stop accepting my calls. But you know what Friends? I finally realized that that was there loss, not mine, because none of them have risen to any better heights. In fact, all are doing worse. The Good Lord has looked after me through all the ups and downs. It hasn’t been easy, but I’m here to tell you the Lord indeed looks after His own. Not always the way we want, but when we look back, we’ll always discover that we’ve ended up better off than if the so-called friends had stuck around. We don’t realize it then, but the Lord’s actually weeding out the unreliable people from our lives. And I guess I have to shoulder some of the blame because I’m so open and easy going. My children might want to interject naïve and stupid too. (smile) That’s because if a stranger smiles at me and says hello today, and I meet them again tomorrow, I’ll consider them a friend. In hindsight, I can see that the Lord actually blessed me when He pared down my friends to a mere handful now. The few who remain will move hell and high-water for me, a couple have already done, and I try to reciprocate whenever I can. Remember, the definition of true friendship is standing up for and helping, both in good and bad times. We certainly don’t need people around like Job describes: ‘Yea, ye overwhelm the fatherless, and ye dig a pit for your friend.’ (Job 6:27) We definitely don’t need people close to us undermining us, though that’s what a lot of them who call themselves friends do. And I’m sure all of you my brethren have had the unfortunate experience of being betrayed by a person in a close relationship. But yuh know what mih people, our God is a GOOD God, and He won’t let the righteous suffer for no good reason. And here’s what often happens to those who betray us. Bruh David both knew it and felt it. ‘They have prepared a net for my steps; my soul is bowed down: they have digged a pit before me, into the midst whereof they are fallen themselves. Selah.’ (Ps.57:6) Yes Friends, those who betray us, often find themselves betrayed too. Their evil, ungodly plans usually backfire on them. It’s called poetic justice, but it’s from the Lord, who repays evil doers in His own time. So what’s the answer mih people? The first thing is to be very very careful of whom we allow to get close to us, whom we allow into our inner sanctum. Hopefully I’ve learned that lesson now. (smile) Don’t be too quick to share your innermost secrets or details of your life, for with the sad state of our society it can, and will be used against you more quickly, and with harsher consequences than ever before. In other words, play your cards close to your chest, for as the ole people would say; ‘Is not all skin teeth is smile.’ And that’s the God awesome truth! Not everyone who laughs or smiles with you can be trusted. And then Friends, only cultivate a few, a handful at most, of trusted, loyal people, who will genuinely stand beside you through thick and thin. Cousin Sol hit the nail on the head when he said: ‘A friend LOVETH at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.’ (Prov.17:17) Yes people, no man is an island, so we all need a genuine few who’ll become as family and behave responsibly, showing LOVE at all times. I like how Beres Hammond says it in his song Giving Thanks. ‘Right here now, the friends I’m surrounded, are but few. Glad I’m not crowed. Just enough, just enough for me to concentrate.’  Ah Friends, this friendship thing is like a sticky wicket to navigate, for we even have to be careful of those who claim to be our Friends in Christ. But if we’re careful, and stay in touch with the Father, though we may face some adversity through some unfaithful friendships, in the long run, we WILL end up with a handful of real, true Friends, who will make our lives so beautiful and fulfilled that we’ll wonder how we ever got along without them. So just keep smiling and being a true Friend in Christ. He will do the rest. Much LOVE!…if we are faithful…the Lord will surround us with faithful people…

 

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