What is a Friend?

Recently a friend of mine was acting less than happy. After a little gentle questioning I had no idea what wrong, but I felt this quiet urging to keep pursuing.

It turned out that she was upset with herself. This sweet friend tried to do everything herself and her children did nothing to help around the house. God’s echos had just shown her that not requiring her children to help at home was wrong.

She now understood that children need to be trained and taught to help with the work of running a home so that they would better know how to run one themselves in the future. But,It drove her nuts that the kids didn’t do it as well, as fast, or the way that she would. She found that she preferred to do things herself, so she did.

She said to me, “I know you have talked to me about how my kids didn’t know how to load a dishwasher and you taught them in minutes AND they said it was fun! But I didn’t care then. Now I do. Help!”

It’s easy to see the damage to a child that is treated cruelly. My friend had just come to grips with the fact that you can damage your children out of kindness too. By not giving her children things they were responsible for she was actually depriving them of the very things God uses to make us into the men and women He has called us to be.

“…we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope,” Romans 5:3-4.

So, we talked about and came up with a plan. We talked about how she would implement her training her children in how and what to do, and then how to keep it up.

It’s been about two months and she is smiling more than ever. Last week she said, “I should have bought Many Hands Make Light the Work years ago! I love it!”

The life of Jesus leaves us an unmistakable example of living with your “need-ometer” always on, looking for the needs around us.

In Luke 18, starting at verse 35 the Bible says,

As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening. They told him, ‘Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.’ He called out, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’ Those who led the way rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!’”

I love the next two words,

“Jesus stopped.”

For the need no one else had time for. For the man everyone else treated like a nuisance, but not Jesus. He hears a brother crying and He stops, and He heals that man.

When He’s surrounded by a crushing crowd, Jesus stops to meet the need of one woman who, in desperate faith, had touched the hem of His robe. With hundreds pushing on Him, He responds to one woman who needed Him. Even on the cross, when His own agony gave Him every reason to just be thinking about His own need, Jesus responds to the need of His mother, His friend John, and the thief on the cross next to Him.

If you’re going to follow Jesus, if you’re going to be like Jesus, you can’t be so busy that you can’t stop for someone in need. That need may be physical, financial, or emotional. It may surface through an email you get, a letter, a call, or just by the Holy Spirit laying someone on your heart whom He knows needs you.

Don’t shrug that off; don’t just keep running your marathon. Do what your Savior did. Stop for that person who needs help or attention, who needs a hug or a prayer or some praise or encouragement. While others are walking by or walking away, you be the one who walks in.

Proverbs 17:17 says:

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” 

 

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Are you good at ’stopping’ to be a friend? Tell me about it.

The bundle I talk about above, Many Hands Make Light the Work, is on sale for a limited time.  Hurry to the Eternal Encouragement store for help in training your children to lessen your workload.

 

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