Saturday, March 24, 2012

A House Built by Friends

A House Built by Friends

John 15:14 tells us Jesus is our friend.  He is not just any friend he wants to be your first best friend.  In addition to Jesus’ friendship, he has given us many different earthly friendships.  Building friendships is like building a house.  First, you need Jesus to be the solid foundation upon which all the other relationships build.  Next, you need framing to support your house.  Your frame is purposeful, it is made up of friends with whom you are closest.  Proverbs 18:24 (ESV) tells us, “A man of too many friends comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”   A true Christian friend is dependable, forgiving and trustworthy, but there are very few people with whom you should share complete trust.   As this Proverb says, they will prove their trustworthiness by sticking closer than a brother (or a sister).   Trust is not the only factor this friend needs to hold you accountable.  She will also love you at all times, (Proverbs 17:17). These friends are those with whom you are “doing life.”
Now that the framework is up, your house is taking shape.  You have defined rooms and each room has a different purpose.  You have Christian friends in whom you are investing and each one has a role.   These friends are those you see and talk to frequently, you share common interests, and they seek you for advice and vice versa.  You should be pouring into and loving on these ladies.  These are relationships that take time to develop, just as a house takes time to build.  You should treat these ladies as you would want to be treated and show kindness, gentleness, love, humility and patience to name a few.  These friends are the “iron sharpening iron,” Proverbs 27:17.  Just as a house doesn’t have too many rooms, these friends need not to be too many either.
Now that your house is almost complete, we need to add some furniture and accessories.   These are Christian ladies you see at church, kids school or extra activities.  You talk with them, enjoy their company, and respect them.  They are a functional part of your life, but they aren’t a necessary part of your structure. You know all about their families.  You might ask them to pray for you but nothing too deep. 
Your “new house” is built with freshly painted walls and furniture is placed on your gorgeous new floors.  Then you notice something in the kitchen - someone walked in with dirty feet and as you follow the footsteps they lead all around the house and even on the furniture!  How did this happen? You know everyone here; they are your friends and they would not have come in and walked all over your house with dirty feet. That’s what happens if you have even one relationship that is not Christ centered.  You may have so many “friends” that when you have everyone over, you don’t even notice who has the “dirty” feet.  However as you step back you notice that dirty marks have been left all over your other relationships.  At first the marks seem subtle but over time the dirt builds up and before you know it you have a stain. 
Proverbs 13:20 “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.”
1 Corinthians 15:33  Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company ruins good morals.”                
So instead of letting your house get dirty all over, make sure no one is coming in with dirty feet.  You can either ask them to “take off” their dirty shoes or not come in at all.  In other words, they can change their ways and follow Christ with you or you need to let them go.  Sometimes this is hard, but if you want to live the abundant life Christ offers us, you have to be willing to make some hard decisions. 
Challenge:   Make a list of your friends and categorize them.    Which relationships need changing or removed completely.

Keeping it real!


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