As previously mentioned in almost every Blog I write, I get my “inspiration”(if that’s what you call it), from my day-to-day activities. I’ve continued the bike riding I started more than 2 years ago. I only ride about once a week, but I have worked up to 50+ miles a day most of the time when I go. If you’re looking for a fun way to keep in shape let me suggest bike riding. Reward for effort; less strenuous on your body and just plain fun most of the time. But that’s not the reason for this blog.
Today I had the privilege to bike with Jim Daniel, our music director from First Baptist Church Centerton. It was the first time we had ridden together. He mostly does mountain biking(Which automatically means he is a better man than I am. I wimp out when it comes to mountain biking). Since he hadn’t been on the trail as much, I felt obligated to keep him informed as to the bike trails’ difficulty as it occurred. However, feeling obligated and actually doing something about it are two different things as you well know.
Consequently, I found myself letting him know extremely too late … as in once we started up the hill … once we went around the corner and there it was … once we went through the tight curve. Thankfully, he is an experienced mountain biker(did I mention a better man than I am) and didn’t have any issues in spite of my “best intentions.”
As I drove home I couldn’t help but once again(as you should be used to by now) compare that experience with real life. How many times do we do that with each other? How many times are we that friend who actually warns someone of impending dangers; impending sin; impending temptation; etc?
But, Brent, I don’t want to:
Rock the boat
Lose the friendship
Look like an idiot
Sound like a prude
Sound like I’m no fun
Be the only one
Mention something that blows up out of proportion
Mention something that I misunderstood
I can understand and have felt all of those emotions when someone I knew was walking down the wrong path and/or potentially making a wrong decision. But, here’s what we are faced with … what does the Bible say about friendships/counselors and how to handle them?
A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.
Better is open rebuke than hidden love. 6 Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: 10 If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
A righteous man is cautious in friendship, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.
My intercessor is my friend as my eyes pour out tears to God; 21 on behalf of a man he pleads with God as a man pleads for his friend.
Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.
Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.
Now, that’s just a few of the MANY verses in scripture about how we are to befriend one another and be counselors for one another. So … besides those takeaways what else is there?
Men, find a man(or men) for you to be accountable too … who you can “do life with”. Each of us need that … whether we admit it or not.
Women, find a woman(or women) for you to be accountable too … who you can “do life with”. Each of us need that … whether we admit it or not.
Be intentional about finding someone. Don’t wait for “God to bring someone.” Put yourself “out there” and God will show you who that is. You’ll probably be surprised over time that it becomes more than one.
Be willing to challenge one another when we are involved in bad habits; bad decision-making; etc. God placed us in that person’s life to help them walk through life. Be willing to speak up. That’s what being a true friend is all about. It’s telling them what God wants us to say … not necessarily what they want to hear.
Be open to criticism. If someone God placed in our life challenges us on our bad habits; bad decision-making; etc. then be open to the fact they may be right. God might be using them to speak to us. Don’t attack them … accept what they are saying with an open mind and seek God’s face to see how He might be using them to help us “wake up” and stop the negative direction we are headed.
Be thankful to that person for being in your life … tell them … often
Be thankful to God for bringing that person in your life.
Stay in consistent communication with that person throughout your life … you never know when God will use them to be a blessing; challenge; etc. in His timing.
That being said … I can’t finish this without thanking my good friends(just to name two)
God placed these two men in my life at different times for different reasons. To this day we are great friends. We text occasionally or often(depending on the need). They challenge me to stay in the Word; to be the Godly man I need to be; to be the Godly father/husband God requires. They pray for me. They give me Godly advice. I wouldn’t be able to walk through this life without their friendships.
If you don’t have someone like a Paul or a Chad … find someone … be intentional about it and God will bring that man or woman into your life and will bless you for it.