Saturday, August 29, 2009

Friendship

I was asked several days ago why I persue friendships so. It took me a great deal of time to figure this out; to try and understand why my desire of being with others is so important to me.

Friend or Foe, thats how I see it. God tells us we are either with Him or against Him, and I agree. Friendship is not only built on common activities and ideas, for there is no other person who possibily could have everything in common with you, as well as we will always continue to disagree in some regard on every level of life, but instead, to me, friendship is based on kindness, love, loyalty, forgiveness, and understanding. It is so much easier for me to forgive a friend who has done me wrong than an enemy. And, yet, as I posted yesterday, I'm taught another way. Again:

Matthew 5:44-48
44But I tell you: Love your enemies[b] and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

My beliefs are very real to me, my God is very real to me, and I have a very real relationship with Him/Her. Therefore, when I view someone has insulted my beiefs, i.e., my previous post on cusing God, I truly feel hurt and wronged by those people. Now, I know God doesnt need me to stand up for Him, He's the almighty, but its the whole mother-cub situation, I want to protect what I love.

Going back to friendship, my God tells a parable in Mark 12:28-34:
28One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?"
29"The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.[
e] 30Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.'[f] 31The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'[g]There is no commandment greater than these."
32"Well said, teacher," the man replied. "You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. 33To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices."
34When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions.

Do you see? I'm to love God with everything I have and I'm to love people as myself. This has always been hard for me because, well, I want to love myself, my family, my interests, my ideas, even my beliefs more than people, even more than God.

It's not that I set out to love these things more than God, but because I get so wrapped up in myself, I do. By being with others, I'm given the opportunity to love. I tend to choose people that have different backgrounds than myself, that bring different situations to the table, as well as people who I feel as if I can grow with/from. My life is about relationships, and if you think yours isnt just look at how many times you must come in contact with people in your every day world versus how much time you get to be alone.

I'm still working on the love part, and I'm not sure it will actually be mastered while I'm still here. I think this is something only God can do with me, and not what I can do on my own. So there is my fault, my clumsiness, my mistake, that instead of asking God to development my friendships, I tried to choose them on my own, control them, and make them what I felt they needed to be.

And to my enemies, you may have broken my heart, have insulted me, but I still love you and pray for you. I'm not better than anyone, I'm actually pretty low on the tottem pole, but I'm working hard trying to be better than what I am, with God's help, of course. :)

* I've highled with bold not to deminish the other areas of the scripture but to point out the words to which I'm referring to.
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