Hi friends! Yes, I know, I know, I missed my regular post on the 17th again. I know it sounds like a convenient and cliche excuse, but I really have been quite overloaded with homework. Noticing this, a friend sent me his own thoughts on relationships and friendships. Since I probably won't be getting around to my own posts again until after finals, I thought you all might enjoy what he has to say. I especially appreciate his encouragement to get into the word and seek the truth ourselves! You don't have to wait for a sermon from church, a blog post from your *favorite* Christian blog, ;) or even your morning devotional time. You can seek the truth whenever you have a Bible available. (Which is why I recommend memorizing scripture--instant availability!) So without further ado, please "forgive" me for not posting, and enjoy this guest blog from Andrew Kelley.
Do you miss LaJoie’s “Love Talks”? If so, then why not wait …while we wait? Let’s seek God to see what he says about friendships. After all, Colossians 2:3 says that in Christ is “hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Further, Proverbs 2:6 says that “the Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” If we really believe these words, then we should diligently search the Word to find out what God says about making lasting friendships. One thing I’ve found is that forgiveness is an essential ingredient.
Let’s begin by looking at a few verses:
“He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.” – Proverbs 17:9
“A friend loves at all times and a brother is born for adversity.” – Proverbs 17:17
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” 1 Corinthians 13:4,5
God’s Word is proved true in Jesus. As Romans 5 says, he demonstrated his love for us by dying for us while we were still sinners. He forgave our offenses and is certainly the “friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Also, Scripture tells us that he remembers our sins no more. Yeah! In view of this mercy why wouldn’t we give our lives completely to God? Forgiveness is thus central to our relationship with God. His love, which he demonstrated on the cross, compels us to live as new creations. Because of his forgiveness we will be with him forever in heaven.
With this in mind, let’s remember how God describes the relationship we will have with him: marriage. Jesus is the bridegroom, and the church is his bride. Think about this for a second. The relationship we will have with God is like that of a wife with her husband. So if forgiveness is so important to the heavenly relationship, wouldn’t it also be necessary for the earthly relationship?
Now, what was Paul’s instruction to the Colossians about forgiveness as it relates to marriage? Well, right before mentioning marriage he says, “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
So, do you want lasting friendships? Do you want a lasting marriage? Forgive as the Lord forgave you. If you are single, practice now. It will serve you well. Forgiveness really is key to marriage. One Christian couple told me this was true of them. (By the way, they’ve been married more than sixty years.) Let’s live by this then!
What else makes a friendship last? What are the other keys to successful relationships? Seek God. Study his Word. Then you will find out. That’s what Proverbs 2 tells us. Also, remember that Proverbs 20:15 says, “Gold there is, and rubies in abundance, but lips that speak knowledge are a rare jewel.” That’s one great reason I keep reading LaJoie’s blogs. And we shouldn’t hold it against her that this semester, school has demanded a lot of her time. So, let’s seek God. Why don’t we study his Word and pray to see what he says are the keys to lasting friendships! Let me ask you this last question: What theme in Scripture (which is presented in this blog) runs deeper than forgiveness? Try to find out before LaJoie posts again. :)