Wednesday, November 18, 2009

WEDNESDAY WEEKLY WORD ... the real deal!

That old saying is true..."to have a friend, you have to be one!" I have told my kids that a million times while they were going thru that tough "making friends" stage. Have you ever thought about this saying and what the idea behind it is?

I believe it is suggesting exactly what Jesus said in the book of Matthew: "For whoever wants to save his life will lose it." (Matthew 16:25)

Growing up I had an imaginary friend. Don't laugh, I know some of you did too! Imaginary friends are great because they are exactly what you need a friend to be. They do what you want them to do. They are kind to you. They never leave you. They always protect you. As great as imaginary friends are, they are not real.

In last weeks YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL, I polled the readers the following question: "Which superhero did you most admire and want to be like when you were a child?" The top 3 answers were...

1. 25%  of those polled said that they admired Nancy Drew.
2. 25% of those voting said that they wanted to be like Superwoman!
3. 8% of the votes said that they admired Superman.

No matter what superhero we admired when we were growing up, they were not real. They may have been fast, powerful and invincible but they were not the real deal! The truest form of friendship that I have found, that has proven to not be fake or unreal is the friendship Jesus offers me. The popular christian song says ... "I am a friend of God, I am a friend of God ... He calls me friend!" What does a real friendship look like to you?

1. Does it reveal your thoughts and feelings?
Jesus did not hide anything from His followers. When He was angry with His followers, He let them know. I have found that if you cannot share your feelings with each other, it is difficult to be real friends.

2. Does it hide information?
Jesus did not hide information from His disciple friends. In Matthew 16:21, He warned them on 3 different occasions that He would face suffering and death in Jerasulem. I guess some people would have avoided sharing such unpleasant information, but Jesus wanted the disciples to prepare themselves.

3. Is it sacrificial?
John 15:13 says "Greater love has no one than this, the he lay down his life for his friends." Isn't this exactly what Jesus did for you and for me? As Christ laid His life down for us, we too should be willing to lay our life down for our brothers. We may not literally die for them, but we may be required to give something up for them.

4. Does it lift up and encourage?
John 15:16 "You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit - fruit that will last." Are we just doing things to do things or are we contributing towards lasting contributions into this world? A real friend will encourage you in developing your talents and using them for Gods glory.

Today's society wants us to believe real friendships are like the ones on television, where "everyone knows your name". But truly the most important role model to follow when it comes to friendship is Jesus Christ, He IS the real deal!

WEDNESDAY WEEKLY WORD is a blog post designated once a week to a personal study of mine. This week I have been challenged to seek out true friendships, the kind that are based on God's design and more importantly, to strive to be the kind of friend that God would be proud for me to be. I want to be the real deal to someone today. How about you?


Denise said...

Be blessed dear one.

Debbie said...

This is good Laurie. And your soo right of course. I am soo grateful that the Lord gave us all each other to comfort, support, encourage, love and even sometimes to point out things when we are out of line somewhere. To just plain ole ENJOY!! But most of all I am grateful for the friendship that we get from the BEST friend any of us will ever know. Have a great day. Deb

Crystal said...

Love this Laurie...I have found out just how much those friends can be there for you over the past week or have a friend cry beside you over your pain is something I havent witnessed a whole life prior to my church family...great to have them here and great to know regardless my "best friend" is always with me!