By Marni Montanez
New Living Translation (NLT)
6 Many will say they are loyal friends,
but who can find one who is truly reliable?
There are many versions to this verse but it all comes down to the same thing. Who is a person who is loyal or has integrity and really does what they say they will do or behaves in a manner lined up with the word of God.
Good question. There are many who will say the words. “I am there for you” or words similar but are they? Personally, I think it’s a rare person who would be such a friend.
A relationship: How does one relate to another? Isn’t it by spending time together? A simple phone call or email could very much be a part of spending time together or connecting.
Yes, people are busy; yes, there is much stress; yes to a million other excuses as to why there are days upon days met with no contact. Are these valid reasons to keep one from reaching out day after day after day………….until they have relied upon the excuse that they are just too busy. I’ve heard “friends “say, “I’ve been meaning to call you or you’ve been on my mind”. What good is it to hear those words weeks after you needed the encouragement? Over the years when someone is on my heart, I make it a point to have a connection with them. Many times in my busy schedule I have called a friend and said I can’t talk right now but you’re on my heart. Can I be praying for you about something or is there a good time I can call you back. There are times I email someone and just say. “I’m thinking about you”,. That is all that is needed. A quick 5 second connection to tell someone in this moment I want to encourage you. I promise, one 5 minute contact to let someone know you are thinking of them will minister to them the whole day.
Wasn’t Jesus busy????? I think so. He prayed and preached and taught and ministered and dealt with the Pharisees and yet, He built a “relationship” with more than one person. Yes, the times are different but the busy-ness of life is still the same as it was when Jesus walked the earth, but He made time for His friends. Why; because God is a God of relationship. He didn’t create us to have careers or ministries. He created us to have fellowship with Him and others. The careers and ministries are in the mix, but they are not our sole purpose for living. We won’t take any of that stuff with us to heaven, but we will surely have people there in heaven to fellowship with. Satan’s plan was to isolate us Christians, one from another and it is working. How intimately do we know those we see once a week on Sunday and yet they are the very people we will be spending eternity with. Our priorities must be balanced.
It seems that even Christians have become numb to relationship. God is a God of relationship! Not only is it hard staying connected to a friend, but even on a spiritual level, how many of us are connected with God continually and faithfully.
I go through times in my walk where I feel very much alone. I’m sure each one of you has felt the same way. It is in these times that I have to look inside and ask myself, why I feel so lonely or unimportant. No one calls or emails just to say “Hi, how are you?” Contact is usually based on problem solving or trying to get information. The true meaning behind relationship is lost somehow.
My challenge to you is: Ask the Holy Spirit to put someone on your heart and then reach out. 5 seconds will last for a long time.
The purpose of this series is to encourage people to live as loving, compassionate, and peacemaking children of God: Jesus tells us to pray, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." (Matthew 6:10) God tells us through Micah (6:8), "He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God." And we know from Revelation 21:4 that there will be no more mourning, or crying, or pain, or death. Thus, Christian living requires us to set the standards of these conditions here on earth for our fellow human beings, and for the other animals, as a witness to the rest of the world. To do otherwise is not Christian.