Friendship Can Hurt

May 20, 2012


Friendship Can Hurt

Ps 41:9 Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me. KJV

Mic 7:5-6
5 Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide: keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom.
6 For the son dishonoureth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law; a man’s enemies are the men of his own house. KJV

Matt 26:48-50

48 Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast.
49 And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him.
50 And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come? Then came they, and laid hands on Jesus, and took him. KJV

I remember an old Amish man sitting on the back of his produce wagon doing a little philosophizing as he sold his wares. He said, “Never worry about your enemy because if anything happens to you he will be the first one they will suspect. Worry about you friend as no one will suspect him.”

As I look back on my life I have to admit that the ones who have hurt me the worst have been those whom I considered friends and trusted. My enemies I expected to treat me badly and stab me in the chest but the knife in the back from a friend or Christian “brother” or “sister” have caused the worst pains and scars.

While it has been said to “keep your friends close and your enemies closer” because you can trust your friends and need to keep your eye on your enemy there are times when it would be wise to evaluate your friends on a regular basis.

As those who have come into a large inheritance or win the lottery find out friends are easy to come by when you have something people want. If you are famous many will want to be your friend because your fame may help advance their careers. Sometimes even your friends at church are more about networking than about friendship. When a better contact arrives you are tossed to the side and if the new friend is your competition the old friend may not have a problem sharing things he heard from you about your business,

As Samson found out there are time when even a spouse may not need to know some things as she may use that information when she decides to leave you or is angry. Indeed, she should be your best and safest confidant, but reality has bitten many a man. It goes both ways. Many a woman has been embarrassed by what picture or conversation has been shared on the Internet by an ex-boyfriend or husband.

Blood is supposed to be thicker than water, but Micah tells us that it may not always be thicker than some situations and certainly not always thicker than money. David learned this when his son rose up against him. Truly, when I was growing up I was not really sure if my kin were friend or foe as it seemed someone was always fighting against someone else. When my mother and I were at one relative’s house they would be talking about two others and if we went to the one that was being talked about then the conversation may be about the one we saw last and another one. It did not take me long to figure out that we were the subject of many a relative’s conversation when we were not there. I suspect it makes sense that after my maternal grandmother died there were no more family reunions. They only showed up for her sake, I reckon. As they got older and started dying off the survivors did mellow out and hang out more with each other, but it is sad it took old age and death to make that happen.

Anyone ever have in-law problems? Mother-in-law jokes and such do have a lot of truth in them. I was fortunate to have have a great Mother and Father-in-law. No one has ever had son-in-law or daughter-in-law issues as they are always a joy and a jewel. OK, no ROTFLs, please. And they say the Bible is not relevant.

Ah, if we only had the discernment Jesus had when He knew the one that would betray Him and we could handle ourselves as well as He did when the crowd showed up for the betraying kiss. Most of us would not have been calling Judas friend in a calm and controlled fashion. We would probably call him a bunch of other names as well as assuring that he knew he was going to bust Hell wide open.

So since there is so much opportunity for pain do we become hermits having no friends, spouses, children and hence no in-laws to avoid the pain? No, we were not wired for that. We are made in God’s image and He knowing the outcome still chose to create Adam and Eve so that He could love them and the race they would generate.

He accepted that Man would cause Him heartache, but for the chance to love those who would love Him He chose to endure the grief even to the point of having His own Son endure the rejection of those He came to save and the pain of the Cross, which was minimal compared to the pain suffered by both the Father and the Son during the time of judgment when they were separated from the fellowship that they had always enjoyed.

Thus we must reach out and seek love, be it friendship, spousal or familial because it is part of our Divine design. Yet, we must go into it with eyes open knowing that we are part of a broken race where we may be hurt by the ones we love and sadly, even cause hurt to those we love. We must seek to be kept in the love of God and allow His love to navigate our lives through the mines of life as well as avoiding the torpedoes of the world, the flesh and the devil. With Him as Captain of our vessel we can sail through the stormy seas. When we grab the wheel and try to adjust the mainsails we will experience damage and loss of goods, but the ship will make it to the harbor no matter how battered and torn it may be. The less we grab the wheel the less the damage. Yet, we must launch out into the deep of life seeking to give love no matter how little we receive back. That is being conformed to the image of Christ. Maranatha!

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