Posts Tagged ‘close friends’

Overlooking Your Friend’s Faults

Jun 21

by Victoria Robinson

Girlfriends, we all know that a mirror can either be our friend or enemy. If we are feeling good about the way we look then the mirror is our friend and if we do not like the way we look we tend to avoid looking in a mirror. However, even if we avoid gazing at our own faults, it is easy to walk around noticing the faults of others. Seeing a friend who looks bad in an ugly outfit is not nearly as painful as seeing ourself looking just as bad. Spiritually speaking, we do the same thing. The faults of others are so evident to us while we are blind to our own.

The surest way to know we have mastered overlooking our friend’s faults is to examine our first response. There is nothing wrong with us noticing sin in others and yet how we react is very telling of our own hearts. Is it, “Oh my!” or is it “I must pray for them.” Are we motivated by our love for them or just being critical? Another important response is, “Do I have that same sin in my heart?” The truth is, sometimes the reason we are critical of others is because we are plagued with the very same faults.

Overlooking a friend’s faults does not mean we ignore the problem. The Word of God clearly tells us that we are help our friends when they are caught in sin. However, and here’s the painful part, we are to examine our own hearts and remove any sin we have. Then we will be able to see clearly to help our friend.

Dearest girlfriends, let us love and be patient with our friends when it comes to their faults while we examine our own hearts.

Disregarding another person’s faults preserves love; telling about them separates close friends. ~ Proverbs 17:9 NLT
 
Be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. ~ Ephesians 4:2 CEV
 
You must make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. ~ Colossians 3:13 NLT
 
“And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying, ‘Friend, let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log from your own eye; then perhaps you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye. ~ Luke 6:41-42 NLT 
 
Let everyone be sure that he is doing his very best, for then he will have the personal satisfaction of work well done and won’t need to compare himself with someone else. Each of us must bear some faults and burdens of his own. For none of us is perfect! ~ Galatians 6:4-5 TLB
 
Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love makes up for many of your faults. ~ 1 Peter 4:8 TLB

Immediately!

May 19

by Victoria Robinson

There was a man named Cornelius who was given specific instructions and immediately took action. This quick response ultimately led to a place in heaven for not only this faithful man, but also his relatives and close friends. This story actually encompasses two men who took quick action. The first being Cornelius and the second being the apostle Peter. Peter did not hesitate to go with the men Cornelius had sent to accompany him on this glorious journey. Oh the joys that come from immediately obeying the Lord’s commands. As this story unfolds, Peter would see even more redemption in his life. You see, it was Peter who while Jesus was being brutally beaten spoke these now famous words, “Woman, I don’t know him.” He had so wrongfully denied Jesus three times in that same night. How glorious to go from denying his Lord and Savior to seeing all these wonderful people receive the gift of eternal life because of his bold proclamation!  Two men who did not know each other and yet both benefited from immediately obeying the Lord.

Oh girlfriends, the dangers of not immediately obeying the Word of the Lord can be so devastating. The Israelites who hardened their hearts against the voice of the Lord would never enter the promised land. In fact the book of Hebrews so graphically states, “Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the desert?” Now contrast that disobedience with the immediate action of the Israelite’s enemies in the book of Exodus. Can’t you just picture Pharaoh’s outrage and unbelief when some of his officials immediately brought in their livestock and servants to prevent them from being destroyed in the fierce storm the Lord promised to send, while at the same time Pharaoh’s heart remained hardened?

Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would act immediately when the Lord speaks and reap the rewards He has planned for us.

Cornelius answered: “Four days ago I was in my house praying at this hour, at three in the afternoon. Suddenly a man in shining clothes stood before me and said, ‘Cornelius, God has heard your prayer and remembered your gifts to the poor. Send to Joppa for Simon who is called Peter. He is a guest in the home of Simon the tanner, who lives by the sea.’ So I sent for you immediately, and it was good of you to come. Now we are all here in the presence of God to listen to everything the Lord has commanded you to tell us.” ~ Acts 10:30-33 NIV
 
Then seizing him, they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest. Peter followed at a distance. But when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter sat down with them. A servant girl saw him seated there in the firelight. She looked closely at him and said, “This man was with him.” But he denied it. “Woman, I don’t know him,” he said. A little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.” “Man, I am not!” Peter replied. About an hour later another asserted, “Certainly this fellow was with him, for he is a Galilean.” Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly. ~ Luke 22:54-62 NIV 
 
As has just been said: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.” Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the desert? And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief. ~ Hebrews 3:15-19 NIV
 
Some of Pharaoh’s officials believed what the Lord said. They immediately brought their livestock and servants in from the fields. But those who had no respect for the word of the Lord left them out in the open. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Lift your hand toward the sky, and cause the hail to fall throughout Egypt, on the people, the animals, and the crops.” So Moses lifted his staff toward the sky, and the Lord sent thunder and hail, and lightning struck the earth. The Lord sent a tremendous hailstorm against all the land of Egypt. Never in all the history of Egypt had there been a storm like that, with such severe hail and continuous lightning. It left all of Egypt in ruins. Everything left in the fields was destroyed—people, animals, and crops alike. Even all the trees were destroyed. ~ Exodus 9:20-25 NLT

I am a friend like __________.

Feb 22

by Victoria Robinson

Among King David’s close friends, there are two that stand out. One was Jonathan and the other Ahithophel. On the one hand he had a faithful friend in Jonathan. On the other hand he had a faithless friend in Ahithophel.

Johnathan was the son of Saul who had become jealous of David and sought to destroy him. Jonathan faithfully watched out for his friend David. After the death of Jonathan, David penned these words, “I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother; you were very dear to me. Your love for me was wonderful, more wonderful than that of women.”

Then we have the unfortunate betrayal of Ahithophel who was David’s counselor who turned against him and sided with Absalom. Later when Ahithophel saw he had no longer any influence, and accordingly he at once left the camp of Absalom and returned to Giloh. There in his misery, he hanged himself. David also penned some words about this faithless friend, “Even my close friend, whom I trusted, he who shared my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.”

So, are you a faithful friend like Jonathan or are you a faithless friend like Ahithophel? If you filled in the blank above, which of David’s friend’s names would you put? Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would honor our heavenly Father by always being faithful in our friendships.

Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, for we have sworn friendship with each other in the name of the LORD, saying, ‘The LORD is witness between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants forever.’” … ~ 1 Samuel 20:42 NIV
 
How the mighty have fallen in battle! Jonathan lies slain on your heights. I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother; you were very dear to me. Your love for me was wonderful, more wonderful than that of women. ~ 2 Samuel 1:25-26 NIV
 
While Absalom was offering sacrifices, he also sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David’s counselor, to come from Giloh, his hometown. And so the conspiracy gained strength, and Absalom’s following kept on increasing. ~ 2 Samuel 15:12 NIV
 
Now David had been told, “Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom.” So David prayed, “O LORD, turn Ahithophel’s counsel into foolishness.” ~ 2 Samuel 15:31 NIV
  
Even my close friend, whom I trusted, he who shared my bread, has lifted up his heel against me. ~ Psalm 41:9 NIV
 
A righteous man is cautious in friendship, but the way of the wicked leads them astray. ~ Proverbs 12:26 NIV
 
A friend loves at all times … ~ Proverbs 17:17 NIV