It's been crazy hectic at my neck of the woods.
I have two big trips coming up and have a lot of little things to do in the mean time.
I'm leaving for San Antonio in a few days for an amazing church conference and then going to Florida for my cousins wedding, which I have the honor of being a bridesmaid for. So I'm very excited to say the least!
Big FAT Greek Wedding Pictures... Here they come... soon :)
I felt God wanted me to talk about friendships today.
Friendships are such a blessing and are something that can bring you closer to God or put you further from God.
Since becoming a Christian, I have gained and lost many friends.
I remember while studying the Bible, while counting the cost, God warns me before I make my decision that He will divide families and friends. I thought "Yeahhh... That's just for some people, and that's only if you're hanging with crazy folk's."
Well, let me tell you folks, God doesn't lie... Ever.
I have pushed through, struggled, and triumphed through many relationships in my life. I really prayed a lot for how God wanted my relationships to be like.
Was this person helping me get closer to God?
We're they helping me in becoming more like Jesus, even if they are helping me work on my patience because this person is hard to love?
How can I serve this person?
Are they yoking me down spiritually or am I just wanted to choose the easy way out and not talk to them?
What is the fruit of our friendship? Good fruit or bad fruit?
I've had to ask myself these questions and many more. Friends are a lot different than family, in the sense that you are bonded by blood. Called to honor your mother and father. Called to take care of your family, and if you don't, you're worse than an unbeliever (1 Timothy 5:8)... Etc. Etc...
Looking at the fruit of your friendship with people is the easiest way to see if this is someone you want to continue to keep close to you (don't take this as you're not called to love and still serve them..that is different). Does your friendships produce joy, holiness, patients, goodness, gentleness, etc?
I have very close friends of all kinds of other religions, lifestyles, etc. I have friends that I used to go clubbing with but we have still been able to remain close because I have made my convictions clear and pushed my judgments aside. We still have tons of fun together doing other things and they are accepting of my choices as well and don't ever pressure me to go back to my old ways. I don't condemn my friends who don't choose to follow Christ. I love all my friends as well as all those who have walked out of my life still so much.
I have also had to pray and change some of the dynamics of some of my friendships. There were certain friendships that weren't good for me spiritually, that either tempted me to fall away from God, or just weren't accepting at all of my life style, and that's okay.
This is a verse I remember frequently when God brings people in and out of my life and through different seasons:
Above all, always pray for your friends and enemies, whether they are in your life or not. This is the best way you can love others I am slowly but surely starting to learn.