We need ‘friends’ to make it through to the next stage of life. Some of those individuals will remain friends for the rest of your life, others are there only for ‘a period of time’. I have a couple friends that I don’t see very often, but when we do meet, we just take off from the last time we met. Something we need to realize is that we have not been created to ‘do life’ on our own. We have been designed to do life in the proximity and in relationship with other people, not in isolation.
A great question worth asking is ‘who is your good friend’ and, ‘are you’ a good friend? It is one thing to have a friend, but it must be a two way relationship. There are a number of verses in the Bible that suggest the importance of friendship:
- There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24)
- This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends. (John 15:13 msg)
- Proverbs 12:26 (NLT) 26 The godly give good advice to their friends; the wicked lead them astray.
- Proverbs 22:24-25 (MSG) Don’t hang out with angry people; don’t keep company with hotheads.
- Bad temper is contagious—don’t get infected.
- Proverbs 27:17 (MSG) You use steel to sharpen steel, and one friend sharpens another.
Since there are so many obstacles during the teen/young adult years, friendly advice and encouragement are constantly needed. Here is some healthy advice to remember as you navigate through this awkward ‘young adult’ stage of maturity:
- Avoid: focusing only on yourself – Pursue: focus on others (agape)
- Avoid: looking after your own needs – Pursue: looking out for the needs of others
- Avoid: being a taker – Pursue: being a giver
- Avoid: being a judge – Pursue: loving everyone, after all, we don’t know anyone after the ‘flesh’ anymore
- Avoid: attitude of ‘self-righteous’ – Pursue: understanding where others are coming from
- Avoid: tone of supremacy & dogmatism – Pursue: Goal of winning their heart and love them
- Avoid: outward appearance of ‘figured it all out’ – Pursue: Humility, teach-ability, flexibility
- Avoid: Trying to Change people (Grace Police) – Pursue: The Holy Spirit is the ONLY one who changes people
Remember this today:
Colossians 3 (1-4) Therefore if (since) you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.
What is your focus today? Is it on Christ or the stress of your life? If it is on the stress of your life, let me encourage you to switch your focus back onto Christ, the author and perfector of your faith! Remember, He is your very life and He lives ‘in you’!
QUESTIONS FOR THE DAY
- When you first came to understand ‘grace’, did you have a knee-jerk reaction to rules and requirements when some were presented?
- Do you know the difference between ‘the law’, which is about your relationship with God, and between rules and regulations, that are designed for our social and societal cultures in which we live? (we are no longer under ‘the law’, but rather under the ‘law of the life of Christ, the New Covenant)
- Can you see now that it is ok for someone who loves you, to gently challenge you on behaviours (clothing) that doesn’t look good on you?
- Can you see the value of stripping off everything that ‘hinders’ so you can run the race better?
- What could the Holy Spirit be speaking into your life about this very subject…right now?
- Do you have a trusted friend to share the journey of maturing with? If not, pray for one.
VERSE FOR THE DAY
- Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. Nlt
- Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, message
- Let us also think of creative ways by which we can influence one another to find inspired expression in doing things that benefit others. Good actions give voice and volume to the love of God. Mirror
VIDEO FOR THE DAY
Sappy moment, (*only a few of you will understand….hee hee) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-mi0r0LpXo
Heavenly Father, remind me that you are in charge of my maturing process. Help me not to get my expectations too high. Allow me to be patient with others who are at different stages of growth and teach me how to simply love them, unconditionally.