Do you have a hard time handling the shattered hearts or oftentimes “neediness” in other people?
Have you ever had your ear “bent” by another person who likes to critique others through their lens of criticism or suspicion, and then instead of you yourself telling them that they are walking in dangerous judgement, you let their poisonous words plant doubts and seeds of disdain inside of your mind?
That’s how shattered hearts get shattered again. And you my friend…. were another hammer.
Real friendship LOOKS FULLY at the heart, not just the “packaging.”
Genuine friendship loves for love’s sake, not just for what it can get in return.
True friendship is both challenging and exciting and it takes risks, it overlooks faults and it loves unconditionally, but it also involves being truthful, even though it may hurt.
But, when you must tell the truth to someone…. lovingly, be sure to bring more than a box of bandages and a quick hug. Bring genuine concern.
Genuine (authentic) friendship, also called “agape” love, comes from the LORD.
The LORD Jesus calls us His friends and He laid down His life for us (John 15). He shattered His own heart for ours.
It’s very common among insecure and self focused people to dismiss others when they aren’t “snapping to attention” when they are demanded to perform. To be well!
To… just be normal. To STOP going through hardship! My, my, my! So unkind. So impatient.
Another sad behavior is the tactic of declaring that someone who was “once a good friend “ or a “voice of inspiration”, simply has become “past season” and the so-called relationship “moves on”.
This is a form of usury. Drain someone of time, advice, resources, comfort, counsel, contacts…. and then grow bored after not finding anymore morsels to pilfer from them.
Minimize their importance to you by telling others that you are in a “new place” and need more stimulating relationships.
This is the example of a deep character flawed soul. Me-ism may be “all the rage”, but God sees the horrible abandonment games you play. He’s not a fan.
Our English word “comfort” comes from two Latin words that when joined together mean “with strength.”
The Holy Spirit is called the “Comforter” because He strengthens us and gives us the help to handle the challenges facing us.
He brings His Super-natural glue of restoration and kind grace and goes to work putting back the shards and shatters that others have caused when they struck out with hammers of dismissiveness and slander.
The Greek word translated “comforter” means “one called alongside to help.” The word could also be translated “encourager.”
To encourage someone means to PUT courage into them, or to give them strength for the heart.
Christ does bring comfort to our hearts, but we ourselves are called and told to be Christ to hurting people.
The word “Christian” means “little Christ.” We are His arms, His legs, His hands and His voice.
We are the ones helping to bind up brokenness and set it right.
In 2 Corinthians 7:4-6 Paul mentions how God used Titus to bring comfort to him and those with him in Macedonia.
Here’s what Paul said starting in the middle of verse 4:
“I am filled with comfort. I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation.
For indeed, when we came to Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side. Outside were conflicts, inside were fears.
Nevertheless God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us when Titus arrived.”
As encouragers, we must meet people where they are.
Truly, grief work, is hard work.
But I absolutely know that the body of Christ is up to the task because God is our refuge and our strength.
We can bring comfort to others because we personally know the Mercy and Kindness of THE Comforter.
Anyone can express thankfulness, but God is not impressed with faked lip service. The godly person does not simply say “thanks”!
They are truly appreciative of all the blessings they receive. In fact, they are truly thankful for all that God does in their life. Even if some of those things bring a fresh humility and brokenness.
Know this dear reader. The only way to real lasting relationships of any kind is by humbling yourself and by not scrutinizing the externals of others.
Look hard into the mirror of God’s word and honestly ask yourself if you would want to be a friend of YOU!
Proverbs 27:19 says,
“As in water face reflects face, so the heart of man reflects the man.”
The ground rule of godly friendship is also found in the book of Amos.
“Can two walk together, except they be in agreement?” Amos 3:3 KJV.
Friends are supposed to be of like mind. The truth that comes from all of this is a friendship is a relationship that is entered into by individuals, and it’s only as good or as close as those individuals choose to make it.
My dear Grandmother said that if you can count your true friends on the fingers of one hand, you are blessed.
- A friend is one whom you can be yourself with and never fear that he or she will judge you.
- A friend is someone that you can confide in with complete trust.
- A friend is someone you respect and that respects you, not based upon worthiness but based upon like-mindedness.
True friendship: What Is It?
A true friendship is a very rare thing, but when it is proven, it is something to treasure and keep safe by all means possible.
If you don’t nurture and continue to cultivate and build your relationships with those you call “friends” (time invested, showing genuine concern not just a begrudging “touching base” and praying for your friends to lives full lives, eventually there will be a fading away of a gift and good thing.
God placed in the human heart a desire for relationship and connectedness. But he also placed in our heart the desire to be appreciated for being uniquely ourselves.
Unity and friendship flourish when each friend shows true, and authentic appreciation of the other. Is this a skill that can be learned?
Well, it’s a way of seeing. It sometimes requires a shift in our perspective.
And, it’s something that we need to do consciously when we drift into apathy or even an annoyance at our friend’s differences.
Marvin J. Ashton has a wonderful quote that I want to share in closing out this message in hope that you the reader, CATCH IT and DO IT.
Here it is:
“Be the one who nurtures and builds. Be the one who has an understanding and a forgiving heart one who looks for the best in people. Leave people better than you found them.”
Let’s pray now, humbly asking the Heavenly Father to help us in our relationships and friendships.
Father in Heaven,
I know that I add fuel to the fire in my relationships because I am often needy myself.
I don’t like to admit it, but I know it’s true. Thank You that You see me as I truly am and that You still love me.
Please help me to see myself honestly, and to own my own part in conflicts and difficulties before I point my finger.
Please give me insight into my own needs and teach me patience as I encounter needs in the ones I love.
I need Your help, LORD.
Please guide me.
I pray this in Jesus’ name, amen.
In His Shadow,
~ Mary Lindow ©
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Mary Lindow has a passion for encouraging others – all generations, careers or vocations to live expressing excellence through personal integrity, healthy accountability, and wise management of talents and skills. She’s a sought after keynote, inspirational, humorous speaker and teacher across the U.S.A and internationally in Ministers & Spiritual leaders Conferences, and training seminars for various organizations.