Tag Archives: Friendship

It Matters Who Your Friends Are…

There are so many things that are different in our modern world than in days gone by that it is hard to pick out a topic to cover. Recently, however, I have been thinking and studying the effects of good parental involvement and teaching in children’s lives. One of the things in by-gone times that parents monitored were who their children befriended.

Now it seems it isn’t “cool” for parents to monitor something so “personal” as their children’s friendships, let alone to actually teach children that it does indeed matter who they hang out with, and that they need to be aware of the effects of their peers. We all know the peer pressure commercials and they have become a joke. How often, though, do we think about wisdom, intelligence, social manners, morals, etc… when it comes to who the next generation surrounds themselves with?

God makes no bones about it; Proverbs 13:20 He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm. The teaching here is twofold; walk with wise individuals and you will actually be wise. Walk with foolish individuals and you will be hurt. It is crucial to remember that the bulk of Proverbs is underscoring listening to our Parents’ wise counsel, so the safe assumption here is that this bit of knowledge should be on the list to teach the next generation. Try that in today’s world, and the world will say that you have your nose in the air. That’s the world… so that underscores that we should indeed be teaching our kids to be selective in their friendships and that means monitoring who your children “befriend.”

For us older types, this brilliant Proverb also means we need to take a good hard look at who we attach ourselves too. As one simple example, this isn’t limited to friends, is it? How about our spouses? If we pay attention to the Lord and His guidance, and our blessed enough to stay married, our spouses are going to be one of the major people we “walk with.” So you’d better pick a good one, and not on the basis of the short-lived romantic hogwash love that the world forces down your throat. Do you want wisdom? The first step is to ask God for it, and that will include studying scripture to see what He has to say about wisdom. It is apparent to me that one of the keys is deliberately picking who we walk with.

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Post-Thanksgiving Ramblings…

The day after Thanksgiving, or “Black Friday” for the shopping hordes has arrived.  For those of us who don’t enjoy the crowded Wal-Marts, Targets, and Malls, it is a good day to wind down, finish digesting all the food eaten, and perhaps to reflect a bit on what’s ahead.  Christmas.  Yes, Christmas will be upon us before we can blink twice.

It is easy at this point in time to start obsessing about Christmas gifts and Christmas plans.  It might even be time for those who have a grind against Christmas to gear up for protests. Christians protesting that it’s pagan, pagan’s protesting that it’s Christian…funny how that works, isn’t it?  What I would like to challenge my fellow believers to remember (even if you don’t celebrate Christmas) during this time is that it is the people that really matter.

Finding the right gift for someone is often a rush, you find something “just right” that you know they’ll love and it’s a good feeling.  The point I’m trying to make  amidst my rambling is to always focus on the person themselves, and not just the gift or the season.  We all need to take the time to appreciate the people in our lives, because we won’t have them on the Earth with us forever, and even though when death separates believers, we have hope to see then again, it is still hard to lose someone here on earth.

If there’s someone you want to see or talk to, don’t wait for a holiday gathering; see them now.  Send a card now, for no other reason than to say “hi” or to ask “how have you been?”  Holidays are great times to get together, but don’t take the opportunity that we have every day for granted.  During this time, we should be remembering one of the greatest facts of our faith; The Son of God became human, He came and dwelt amongst us.  The God of the universe came and made a real connection with mankind; He was a Son, and a Brother, a Friend, a Teacher…He ate with “us” and cried with us, and walked many roads with us, and celebrated Holidays with us.

We have daily chances to connect with family, friends, and loved ones.  Let’s not wait for a specific day, but rather view every day as a chance to interact with the people that mean something to us!  As we remember how Christ interacted with humanity, let’s use everyday to remember God’s grace and love and turn everyday that we can into Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc… We only have a limited number of days here on this earth, let’s not waste ’em!

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Friends…

Friends, listening ears, and open hearts…everyone needs ’em, and praise the Lord for them!

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Friendship…

Yes, the ‘Scribbler has been absent awhile, and that is because of the Holidays of course.  This is one of those special times of the year when many of my far-away friends come home to roost…and to eat and share news.  This got me to thinking about the role of friendship in Christianity, and in our spiritual lives.

Each of my friends has such a different personality, each interaction is slightly different.  What we talk about, where we talk, what we do whilst we are talking…each relationship is different, but each is equally important.  In another blog post of mine I discussed my wonder that Jesus actually considered humans friends.  It never gets old thinking about it.

I dwell on the twelve apostles, and think it is interesting that scripture gives us enough information about these men to realize that they too each had their own individual style, and they must have each had a slightly different relationship with Christ.  To me, this glimpse into this very human relationship and situation supports the idea that humans do need one another in friendship.

Many relationships are covered in Christian books and seminars; the relationship between boyfriend and girlfriend, husband and wife, parents and children, etc… but there’s not a whole lot out there on the relationship between plain ol’ friends from a Christian perspective.  We can even tell from Paul’s writings that the friendships alluded to are not always just betwixt the same genders, friendships existed between males and females as well.  Of course, some of the terminology puts this kind of friendship in the Christian brother/sister frame of reference, which is only right.

Regardless, friendships sustain us, whether they be long distance friendships, new friendships, old…and we should remember to thank God for those types of relationships.  It may be a bit cliche, but even if we have no other friendship on this earth, Christ is always available to fill the slot.  Sometimes we don’t think of Him in that way, and sometimes we don’t feel worthy enough to count Him amongst our friends (we aren’t, that is why grace is so lovely), but we should remember those times when He pointed to flawed, fallible human beings just like us and deemed them “friends.”

We should also not take our friends for granted, and always be on the lookout for new ones we may meet along the way.

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People as Blessings…

Just random thoughts about life, nothing too deep (no, you don’t need a shovel).  Many times, at least I’ve found, blessings come in the form of people, and if we aren’t on the lookout for them, they can pass us right by without our acknowledgment.

In life, there are people we will know for as long as we live, or as long as they live.  Death separates some of us for a time, and that’s when blessings can hurt the most…the separation from someone we dearly love, even if we know they’ve gone to a better place and that we’ll join them someday, is rough.  But, the fact remains of their blessing status in our lives.

I’ve lost all four of my beloved grandparents already, and they all truly were blessings given to me (not me alone, but you’ll have to pardon my self-centeredness in this post).  Is the pain at their loss a small price to pay for all the wonderful times and love given in life? Absolutely.

Then, there are those who come into our lives for a short while.  Strangers can even fall into this category.  I remember one day in grad school (that’s grad school, not grade school) that I was walking outside and had something heavy on my mind.  Apparently it showed, and I had to have had my “burdened” face on…well, a guy whose name I might never know passed me by, grinned, and said “smile.”  It made me laugh, and in that moment was he not a blessing?  It was years ago, yet I still remember it, and it still makes me laugh.

Then there are those that fall somewhere in between; friends, close and distant, that add something to our lives for varying amounts of time; teachers, class mates, students, baristas (you know, those that make your espresso), supervisors, bosses, co-workers, people we “meet” on the ‘net…  I just think we need to remember that blessings come in many different ways, many different forms.

That doesn’t mean it has to be any big mystical thing, but, as an example, I need reminded that my students are each individuals making their way through life and that God, for whatever reason, has brought them through my room, perhaps just for a semester.  I do count several of my present and former students as friends, and love recognizing a human connection between…humans.  Perhaps if I can keep in mind the kindnesses done to me, as a student, I can try to give some of that kindness to them as a teacher.  Sometimes it’s a listening ear, or a joke, or a piece of candy…little things are indeed important.

There’s no doubt about the other side of the coin; there are some people that tear others down, belittle, and who hurt us; sometimes physically, emotionally, mentally, etc… where there are humans, in this life, there will be that type as well.  That makes the others, the little moments of kindness, compassion, and humor all the more precious.

In an age where a lot of connections are made over electronic devices; such as cell phones, and the internet, it can be a rare thing to stop and really recognize that others are flesh and blood, have feelings and lives and pain and joy, just like we do.  Humans are humans, not perfect, especially around each other…however, I do acknowledge that there are humans in my life past, present, and future that add something, or have added something meaningful to my existence that may not even be aware of it…that’s both a happy, and a sad thought, is it not?

(Hmmm….maybe you did need a shovel after all… 😉 )

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