What Kind of Friend Are You?

Good question. What sort of friend am I?

None of us can 100 % say we have never faltered or never hurt anyone. When someone betrays us, hurts us or disappoints us (whether it is intentional or not) we have to remember we too have been in Judas shoes. We too have hurt others, failed to love unconditionally, disappointed others whether it was intentional or not. I asked this question of the Lord today and then went searching (I had a personal reason for asking)… “Lord, Did you still consider Judas your friend after he betrayed you”? I then read in Matthew 26 where Jesus calls Judas ‘friend’ upon greeting him, as Judas led the Temple Guards of the Sanhedrin to arrest him. Judas betrayed Jesus. Jesus called him ‘friend.’ I had to let that sink in.

Betrayal is the breaking or violation of a presumptive contracttrust, or confidence that produces moral and psychological conflict within a relationship amongst individuals, between organizations or between individuals and organizations. Often betrayal is the act of supporting a rival group, or it is a complete break from previously decided upon or presumed norms by one party from the others. Someone who betrays others is commonly called a traitor or betrayer.

Wikipedia

I began thinking, “Lord, I’ve been on both ends of the spectrum. I’ve betrayed trust, and I’ve been betrayed.” There are times, others will ‘feel’ betrayed whether or not that was the heart intent of the ‘betrayer.’ It matters not: the disappointment lingers and we have to fight to overcome the unloving thoughts, and to keep our hearts soft and pliable before the Lord. The only real choice is to forgive if we want to move on. There comes a time where you just ‘have to let go.’ Things may never be the same in the relationship: trust has been broken, though reconciliation is always a possibility. What a powerful image, Jesus, in the Garden, praying and waiting, and has known all along who was going to betray him, and yet he continued to love Judas and called him ‘FRIEND!” When I read this today it blew me away. I’m so grateful that Jesus STILL calls me ‘FRIEND’ when I mess up. Even when I fail, Jesus never fails. He’s constant. Jesus was staying true to His character and being obedient to His Father, to love and forgive Judas, though the relationship was severed forever. Betrayal affects relationships, but forgiveness empowers us to love like Christ did as we submit to Him, and take the ‘high road’. Judas was no longer in the inner circle and he no longer had access to Jesus, due to his own choices, BUT Jesus still loved him! That’s powerful, and amazing to me!

I’m reminded of Proverbs 18:24 : A man of many companions may come to ruin, BUT there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Jesus is that brother!

I want to be that kind of friend, though it is not always easy. The story of Judas and his betrayal has never really been about Judas, it’s always been about Jesus and his overpowering and all consuming love for us. It’s about Him being OUR friend, even when we don’t deserve His love and friendship.

 Lord, help us to be more like you.

https://christcommunitykc.org/jesus-and-judas-friend-or-foe-digging-deeper

Trusting God / Loving People

God is shifting and shaking, exposing what is in our hearts, be it fear, offence, love, forgiveness and even our motives. He is asking us to pray and seek His face to rightly discern a matter. If we harbor any ill feelings or unresolved issues when we make a judgement toward others, it can become a trap of the enemy, to distort our hearing God clearly. “We cannot pray in love and live in hate and still think we are worshipping God…A.W. Tozer.” It’s imperative we come to God with a clean heart, asking Him to give us His heart concerning others. There was a time, that my heart was so broken by a situation, one in which involved a family member. I wanted to lash out, the pain went so deep. So, after a moment of crying out to God, beating my fist on the wall, and then crumbling into a heap on the floor, I asked God quietly, “How do you see this ‘person’, Lord? He said to me in a small, still voice… “You cannot curse that whom I love.” So, I prayed, I chose to forgive, and every time a negative thought would come, I would choose to forgive again, til one day I felt Gods compassion overwhelm me for that person. I still struggle, like everyone else, but I’ve learned, and am learning, that above all else I want Gods will, favor and blessing on my life more than I want to hold onto bitterness and offence. Lets choose to be Peacemakers, take the road least traveled, repent of offence, back biting and gossip. The Word says we are to “bless and pray for our enemies,” and even more so, those of the household of faith. ❤

Humility

Humility is perfect quietness of heart. It is to expect nothing, to wonder at nothing that is done to me, to feel nothing done against me. It is to be at rest when nobody praises me, and when I am blamed or despised. It is to have a blessed home in the Lord, where I can go in and shut the door, and kneel to my Father in secret, and am at peace as in a deep sea of calmness, when all around and above is trouble.”
― Andrew Murray