Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Qualities of a Friend

I enjoyed going around the congregation Sunday morning at the beginning of the lesson and hearing from folks how they would finish the sentence "A good friend is someone who______." I wish I'd had someone write them all down on a huge whiteboard up front. It was a pretty impressive list of qualities, expectations, and virtues. And of course, it was a set-up to ask the next question, which was "What kind of a friend are you?" It's always easy to point out what our friends need to be to and for us, but are we that kind of a friend to them - first.
While mine were mentioned in the responses, if not literally then certainly implied, I shared what I believe to be the most important qualities of a friend. I have three, and they are trust, loyalty, and thoughtfulness. There are a lot of other qualities that are extremely important, but they tend to either be covered by one of these, or are too generic and lofty, and require more to qualify them. I used these three qualities as we looked at what kind of friends the apostles were to Jesus - especially that last night together, and then to challenge us to truthfully examine what kind of friends we are to Jesus. He's the only One who passes the Friendship Test every time. The apostles didn't, at least at that point in their lives, and we all know that our trust, loyalty, and thoughtfulness to Jesus needs some work - some growing. But isn't it nice to know that no matter how inconsistent we or our friends are, Jesus will always be a friend we can trust, and whose commitment and care for us is unquestionable and eternal?

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