Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Friends & Gifts

"The righteous choose their friends carefully." Proverbs 12:26
I was thinking about the friends I have in my life yesterday. What an amazing group of people!
Then, I open my devotional and Bible this morning, only to read some awesome stuff about friends and Spiritual gifts.Maybe that seems like a weird combination to let me explain.
In 1 Corinthians Chapter 12, verses 7-11 Paul is talking about Spiritual gifts..
He said, "A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other."
Here is the list of things people do: 
  1. The ability to give wise advice.
  2. Gives a message of special knowledge.
  3. The gift of healing.
  4. Power to perform miracles.
  5. To discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit.
  6. The ability to speak in unknown languages.
  7. The ability to interpret what is being said.
Verse 11 closes out this section by saying, "It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have." (This is just one place that he speaks on this, there is another list in Romans Chapter 12.)
Ok, so what does that have to do with friendships?
Let me tell you. Each one of our Christians friends has gifts from the Holy Spirit.
God puts those people in our lives so they can "help us", as Paul stated.
You see, my friends do just this for me. I get wise advice OFTEN! They are able to see if someone is playing me, because they know my big naive heart that sees the good in folks. Their words and prayers have been healing to me when I needed them the most.
I am so blessed with the friends I have! It's my prayer that you have friends like this too. If not, start praying now... ask God to bring who He wants into your life, but just as important, you have to be willing to let them into your life.
And by all means, be careful. There are toxic people that we just can't allow to stay around. Christine Caine said this in her Undaunted devotional today:
"Some of us struggle because we have allowed relationships to flourish that are full of toxic emotions such as negativity, criticism, comparison, jealousy, insecurity, and fear. We can't pursue God's purpose for our lives if we are constantly weighed down by negative relationships."
Now, listen for a second, k? We do not, I repeat, DO NOT, need friends who tickle our ears and just tell us what we want to hear. Lord knows my friends don't do that with me. 
So every once in a while, they might be a little negative to prove a point. I think what Christine Caine means is that it's not ALWAYS full of those negative things.
Godly friendships should be helpful, loving, and full of grace, mercy, kindness, and gentleness. Those friends will use their Spiritual gifts to enrich your life, as you use yours to enrich their's. It's a give and take. And it's so stinking beautiful!
Being the only child that I am, my friendships are very important to me. I am blessed! Blessed, I tell you with the friends I have.
I hope you are too.
God bless you today and always.

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