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Philemon: Friends

Friends don’t let friends drink and drive.

When searching the web for this phrase, I found several others, some serious, some sarcastic:

  • Friends don’t let friends fight cancer alone.
  • Friends don’t let friends quit.
  • Friends don’t let friends go hungry.
  • Friends don’t let friends drive Fords.
  • Friends don’t let friends join pyramid schemes.

You get the drift. Friends take care of each other, from serious life issues to questionable choices. We can sum it all up:

Friends don’t let friends miss out on being a part of God’s kingdom.

This can be more challenging than talking your friend out of buying a Ford. It may require saying things they don’t want to hear…say them anyway. If you would not let your friend go out in public in a bad outfit, don’t let her stray from the kingdom.

Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. -Ephesians 4:15

It may require hearing things you don’t want to hear…listen anyway. Your friend in Christ is more worried about your character than your car.

Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. -Colossians 3:16

Reflections

  • There is a difference between criticism and the truth spoken in love. How will you speak to your friend whom you see veering off God’s path?
  • The truth can be hard to hear. Are the people you choose to spend your time with believers in Christ, whose truth comes from the spirit? Are you ready to hear it?