Friendship: Evidence of God's Grace

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One of the most tangible evidences of grace in my life, outside of my wife and family, are the friendships that God has blessed me to have. I am not sure if it is just me because the way I am wired but it overwhelms me. I have not been built to simply have surface relationships and be okay with that; I just haven't. There are relationships that I know have been orchestrated and ordained by Creator God. Particularly here in Hickory. When we moved here nearing two years ago I never thought we would have the relationships that we have. Sure, before we moved here our best friends and their families lived here so we knew that we would have those meaningful relationships but within that relatively short time, we have developed very real, deep and meaningful friendships with others. This, in the age of social media and low touch, is nothing short of the grace of God from where I sit.  It amazes me the friends that we have here. We don't have just our friends who we had before we ever moved here. We have other friends who are incredibly blessed to have. Friendship that really are beyond the surface and that excites me.

I have learned, however, that in order to have a good friend, you must be a good friend. Think about it. Nobody likes a moocher. Nobody. The same is true with friends. Don't just take. Give. Don't wait for your friend to call. Call. When there is a strain on the relationship, be the first to call out the elephant and make it right...quickly. The key to being a good friend is being a good listener. Take the time to value a person by listening and genuinely caring for them. Kelly and I joke that our best friends are stuck with us. We have divulged too much to them, and they to us, to ever let anything severe our friendship. So if you look about and say you don't have any friends, ask yourself if you are being a friend.

It breaks my heart when I read or hear folks say, "I don't trust people and that is why I stick to myself". We were not created to stick to ourselves. We were created to be in community. We were created to be vulnerable and take a risk on letting in folks. One of the wisest and godly men I know (My former Youth Pastor and Pastor) always said that a lone ranger is a dead ranger. He was right back in the nineties when I first heard him say that and it rings true today. We were created to sharpen and provoke one another. We were created to challenge and provoke one another toward love and good deeds. Take a chance; let someone in. You will not be disappointed.

I told my best friend earlier tonight, "If we ever doubt God's grace on either of our lives, we need only look to our wives, Boog or each other." And the same is true with you. Look around you. Look into the faces of those whom you love and love you and know that you are blessed.

May we each find a Proverbs 17 friend. May we each live in grace. May we each live loved and extend love.

Shalom


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