Thursday, May 30, 2013

Joy-full Friendship ~ Series on Friendship

"Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you."  Ephesians 4:31-32 ESV

Discontentment leads to resentment, resentment to rage, rage to shouting, shouting to abuse; this is the chain of events that acts of malice ignite. These intentional malignant actions, each one fueling the next, cause pain and distress. Negative emotions like resentment and animosity are toxic and destroy relationships. Warren Wiersbe says, "Corruption from the lips only means corruption in the heart." 


Augustine in his Confessions lists the joys of friendship: “to make conversation, to share a joke, to perform mutual acts of kindness, to read together well-written books, to share in trifling and in serious matters, to disagree though without animosity.. and in the very rarity of disagreement to find the salt of normal harmony, to teach each other something or to learn from one another, to long with impatience for those absent, to welcome them with gladness on their arrival.” 
The way we interact with others reveals not only our heart's attitude, but it gives insight into our relationship with God. The joys of friendship with God include holy conversations and divine instruction, unconditional love and unrestrained fellowship, peace and hope, all wrapped up together in Amazing Grace. His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of our life. (The Message Ephesians 4:30) Our expressions of kindness and tenderness and forgiveness that we offer one another measures our friendship with God. ~ dho