Friday, April 15, 2011

Knowing Your Friends From Your Enemies

Dear Heavenly Father, we thank you for life health and strength this morning.  We pray Father that you teach us to remain faithful in this faith walk and that you cover every path that we take to be able to reverence you more each day. We honor you and give you praise, in Jesus name we pray, Amen.
                                                                                    Prayer by:  Beissy Williams

          As humans, we are social creatures.  It gives us pleasure to be able to reason with one another on the different topics of society, and to be able to share with one another the pains and pleasures of life.  This was part of God’s design.  However, there is an enemy of this design and we know him as the devil.  His sole purpose is to attempt to undo, what God has designed.  He is about division, not unity.  He is about segregation, not integration.  He is about chaos, not civility.  He is about war, not peace.  He will use any means to further this purpose, and that includes friends against friends, family against family, humanity against humanity.
As possible and future casualties of this spiritual war, we have to identify the methods that this enemy uses to bring forth his desired results.  A friend is defined as:
·        a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.
·        a person who gives assistance; patron; supporter:
·        a person who is on good terms with another; a person who is not hostile
The opposite of friend is enemy and any description contrary to the above is considered attributed to an enemy.  The bible states “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends” (Jn 15:13). This verse is often misunderstood and underappreciated.  There is no metaphor in the statement, nor is it a parable.  It means what it states.  This type of friendship is based on love or fondness based in the heart for a friend.  The Greeks call it “Phileo” which is true brotherly or sisterly love.  This type of friendship can be seen when one friend wants for him/her self the same for their friend.  They will do anything for this friend.  If the friend’s life was in danger, the pain of knowing, would cause this friend to lay down their life so their friend will live.  This type of friendship is rare but it exists and is truly desired.  Other examples of friendship as described in the bible are:
·        A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (Pr 18:24)
·        Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. (Pr 27:6)
·        As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend. (Pr 27:17)
In looking at the secular definition of a friend, and seeing the spiritual examples of friendship, take the time to take an inventory of those who you call friends and compare.  Do they measure up?  Are they contrary to these definitions?  What will you do if they do not measure up?  We can be deceived sometimes because of our flesh which is what the devil does.  It is possible that the enemy of your “so called” friend may in fact be a friend and not an enemy.  In Proverbs 6, one of the things that are an abomination to God is “one who sows discord among brethren.”  Ever shared something to a friend about another friend’s behavior that you did not like?  Did that friend try to have you see it from a positive side?  Did that friend try to bring you guys together or further separate you?  That friend is not a friend if he/she did any of the negative.
We sometimes have the wrong people in our ear, and tend to ignore the person who is actually sharing what is best for us. I pray that you honestly take an inventory and decide accordingly, who are truly your friends and those who should be categorized as your enemy.  Amen!

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