If you want to go fast, Go alone, if you want to go far, Go Together!

Jesus sent the disciples out in two’s. Why? Because even though they could have gotten to more places alone, there is power in sharing in the things that come our way, There is added impact when two or more people work together toward a shared goal. https://depree.org/why-did-jesus-send-out-his-disciples-two-by-two/

I have been thinking a lot about this lately. We all need others in our lives. Jenni Marie in Kindred Grace shares that Life was not meant to be lived alone. https://bit.ly/lifeisnotmeanttobelivedalone She asks, “When did you last give up? Were you also alone?” When you have failed in life, were you alone?” She then makes the case of why being a mentor or having one is so important. God wants us to know the value of asking for help versus stubbornly trying to do things on our own. She writes, “As I started to value community, I was able to flourish. I reap the benefits when I ask for help.” When we are blessed to have people there for us, we are exhorted to be the one offering help to someone in need. Jenni shares it “does not need to be limited to a mentor-mentee relationship as might be traditionally expected. Although the formal and in-person relationships are beautiful, only one of my advisors has accepted and embraced the title of mentor. The rest? I doubt they even know how much I lean on them for life and business wisdom.” Even the Apostle Paul needed a Barnabus. https://www.biblestudy.org/apostlepaul/life-epistles-of-apostle-paul/paul-and-barnabas.html He also mentored younger men like Timothy and Timothy would eventually become pastor of the church at Ephesus, and certainly the letters of 1 and 2 Timothy express how much Paul loved and cared for him.

My daughter shared advice with me this weekend that was the impetus for me writing this blog. A friend told her to surround herself with people she could trust from every decade. I turned 70 this month so it is harder to find folks in higher decades than me but as I thought about Katie’s comment, I realized that I am blessed to have dear friends in their upper 70’s :), 80’s, and 90’s who I can go to for advice or just follow the example they set for me and others. I also can say I have people around me from every decade below me down to my two 4 year old granddaughters. I can learn from them and I hope all in their teens, 20’s, 30’s, 40’s etc will be encouraged by what I say or how I live my life that helps them along the way.

I encourage each of us to find people whether younger or older who we can trust to be there for us. I also hope we will look for ways to give back by finding others who would benefit from your mentoring.

Never forget however, that God is with you and therefore, you are never alone. https://biblehub.com/hebrews/13-5.htm Reminds us that God’s promises are eternal, and He will provide love, comfort, and courage so we can live an abundant life in Him and through Him. We live in a fallen world where we are bound to get hurt. But God will never leave us nor forsake us. One of the ways He fulfills this promise is by providing others to walk along side us as we navigate through the blessings and adversity that will come our way. May we all find ways to help others remain thankful in all things.

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In tragedy and loss, how can we be encouraged

Little did I know how timely my blog post would be when I posted it last Saturday.  http://thankfulinallthings.com/when-the-storms-of-adversity-come-is-your-life-on-a-firm-foundation/ Tragedy hit suddenly on Sunday when a fellow student shot and killed three members of the UVA football team and injured another football player and a manager of the track team.  https://blog.uvahealth.com/2022/11/17/tragedy-at-uva/ This event pushed forward the need for Having a firm foundation when adversity comes our way. 

Someone I know wrote me after we received an email where the sender used the words, “We’re so grateful and Be encouraged”  He raised the question how can someone write these words after such a horrific act took place?  I have thought a lot about that question and waited until after the memorial service for these 3 fine young men to try and put my answer into words. 

Two comments that were made by UVA football coach, Tony Elliott, shed some light on why we can be grateful and encouraged. 
First, this tragedy will be turned into triumph. Psalms 30:5 reminds us, “Weeping may stay for the night, but joy comes in the morning.” He went on to say, “we may not know how long the night will last but just like the morning our joy will return. Lavell, D’Sean, and Devin would want it that way.  Several teammates spoke and time and time again they shared how grateful they were to have had these guys in their lives and that they would carry them in their hearts forever.  The second comment he made was “doing hard stuff brings people together.”  We can be encouraged and find how to be thankful in all things when we are reminded that adversity bring Unity.  This was evident around the country. In solidarity, former coaches wore UVA gear as they coached for their current teams.  https://twitter.com/CoachAtuaia/status/1593429347649699842?s=20&t=UaNbcTLtULl4UPeH8lskNQ  Schools shined blue and orange on their buildings.  UVA and Baylor basketball teams met at mid-court to pray after their game Friday night.  Baylor also wrote notes to their opponents http://bit.ly/uvaandbaylorprayaftergame 

How do we find gratitude and encouragement in the midst of sadness and loss?  By having a firm foundation that comes from having confidence and hope in the promised word of God as revealed to you. It is taking God at His words knowing that He is too faithful to fail, and will never go back on His promises.  Promises like Psalms 34:18 “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” There was no doubt yesterday that the families of Lavel, Devin, and D’Sean and those who spoke had that confidence and hope.I believe they left the service yesterday with sadness but grateful to the Lord for the encouragement they have received. They understand their hope is not in this world but in the world to come promising them that yes, they will see their loved ones again.
I hope you have been encouraged by what I have written this week.  I can be reached by email at michael@mrg7175.com  For those interested, here is a link to the entire memorial service.  I think it is well worth watching https://youtu.be/HkUYAmu5-hA

When the storms of Adversity come, is your life on a firm foundation

I turned 70 this past week.  I thought 60 got my attention!  Yikes! I was fortunate to receive many gifts for my birthday. It reminded me of the thought, “God has given us a gift to be in relationship with Him. All we have to do is open it up in our hearts.” Like Nicodemus https://www.biblehub.com/john/3-3.htm, we can have a spiritual birthday as well. I am grateful that I will celebrate my 44th spiritual birthday later this month.  I accepted the gift God offered me through His Son at Hilltop Ranch in Maryland on a Young Life weekend. 

When asked what I wanted for my birthday, my only wish was to get my family together and that is what happened.(see picture above) After dinner, everyone read Haikus (Maikus 🙂 they had written about me. It was such an affirmation of their love for me and an acknowledgement of the way I have tried to live out the gift God gave me in 1978. 

Philippians 1:29 says, “For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him.” Oswald Chambers writes in My Upmost,https://utmost.org/ “If you are born again, the Spirit of God makes the change very evident in your real life and thought. And when a crisis comes, you are the most amazed person on earth at the wonderful difference there is in you.

I knew I believed in God but I had never really suffered until my bout with Guillain Barre Syndrome. As I lay paralyzed in the hospital bed, I experienced the Spirit of God in an entirely new way. It was made evident in what was my real now health challenged life and in what I found myself thinking. I was the most amazed person as I realized there was a wonderful difference in me. I was not scared. I was not fearful. Why? Because there was no doubt, God was with me as He had been for most of my life. The suffering drew me deeper into my faith because it was made real in a way that, when all is well, it is just not the same.

I love the lyrics of a song.  https://www.flashlyrics.com/lyrics/john-chisum/firm-foundation-98
Jesus You”re my firm foundation, I know I can stand secure
Jesus You”re my firm foundation, I put my hope in Your holy word
I put my hope in Your holy word
I have a living hope 
I have a future 
God has a plan for me 
Of this I”m sure.

I am confident whatever comes my way I can trust the Lord with the outcome. My birthday gift to you is sharing that you can have this same foundation on which to weather any storm. It come when you put your hope in the One that created you and has made it possible to be in a relationship with you. https://biblehub.com/john/3-16.htm There is no greater gift I can offer. As many of you know, “you will be the most amazed person on earth at the wonderful difference it will make in you.

I can be reached by email at michael@mrg7175.com. I would love to hear from you.

Where has the last three years gone?

I went to Chicago this month in an airplane.  As I watched from my window seat while the plane took off, I was struck by the fact that I hadn’t flown anywhere since January of 2020.  It surprised me how unsettling this was in conjunction with losing out on most of 2019 due to my battle with Gullian-Syndrome. If you are a recent reader of this blog, here is the link that chronicles my recovery from that crazy disease.  http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/michaelguthrie Processing what I went through, led to me starting this blog so that I could share with those who were interested, what I have learned since all of this happened.  Here is a link to one of the first blog posts back in the fall of 2019.  http://thankfulinallthings.com/337-2/ Wow!  My life changed because of Guillain-Barre and then because of Covid given GBS is a compromised immune system disorder.

Since that plane trip and with my 70th birthday right around the corner, I have dealt with grieving over the time lost and things I did not get to do. It is time I can’t get back.  It caught me by surprise how The Chicago trip brought it all back.  My self reflection leaves me hoping that like this picture, I have had some success at “blooming where I have been planted”. It hasn’t been easy.  I have written about how I have been envious of what others were able to do while Dottie and I remained in our self-isolated cocoon.

Yes.  I was discouraged but, I never lost hope.  Why?  When I was first diagnosed with GBS, a doctor friend shared, “it will get worse but you will get better”. I found these words comforting because it allowed me to focus on a positive outcome.  A Realtor in my company shared the other day that “Stress is when you don’t what will be your next steps”.  Even though I was paralyzed from the head down, I never felt stress but began asking the question, What do I need to do next to speed up my recovery?  My next steps were to remember Paul’s promise in Philippians 4:6,7.  Instead of succombing to the angst of my circumstances, I was to, “not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”  I was to, remember that Jesus said to come to Him with my burdens and He would give me rest.  https://www.biblehub.com/matthew/11-28.htm

So how I have resolved the question, “where have the last 3 years gone”? I meditate on Jeremiah 29:11 remembering God knows the plans He has for me  https://biblehub.com/jeremiah/29-11.htm
and therefore like Paul, 

Do you feel stressed out?  Are their circumstances in your life that create anxiety?  Maybe your next steps should be what Beth Moore recently wrote.  ‘“We cannot take God at his word if we don’t know his words. If we don’t know his promises, we cannot profess with confidence that he will keep every last one of them. Spend some time in Scripture every single day. Will you ask God to give you an insatiable appetite to know Him better.”

Thanks for stopping by my blog.  It means so much that you took time to read it.  Please share it with others if you think it might be an encouragement to them. I would love for you to subscribe so you can receive email notifications when new content is posted.  I can be reached by email at michael@mrg7175.com

Faith Hope and Love but the greatest of these is Love

Last week, I wrote about why being silent is not always a good thing. It just have resonated because more people opened this blog post than any other in the almost two years I have been writing this blog. I also shared that sometimes our lack of action is a way of being silent as well.  As I thought and talked to others about how to practically apply this concept, I was surprised how being loved or loving others motivates us to not be silent whether in word or deed.  In Acts 2 and then again in Acts 4, Peter is compelled to share what God wants for us because he had been loved by Jesus. If we truly care about another person, we will speak up on their behalf, do something if they need help, or make repair if we have hurt them in some way.  Here is the link to last week’s blog where you can find read a couple examples of how this can be done. http://thankfulinallthings.com/do-people-know-you-have-been-with-jesus/

I think one of the most significant ways we can love one another is to forgive or to ask for forgiveness.  Think about it.  If someone does something to you and says they are sorry, forgiving them is a great way to show love.  If neither party is unwilling to say they are sorry or forgive, that silence will fester and negatively impact, not only the relationship but, as Gwen Randall-Young writes, one’s own health and mental well being as well.  https://gwen.ca/harboring-resentment/ Our desire to make repair should be a motivating influence to not be silent but to move toward the other person.  I spoke to one friend this week who shared she apologizes while literally sitting on her child’s lap. Her daughter knows her mom won’t get up until things are resolved. What a wonderful picture of having the intentionality of desiring restoration.

God shows us the way in 1 John 1:9 where it says, “if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us out sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” He wants us to come to Him with our failures and imperfections. We should want to do the same to those we have let down in some way. Matthew affirms this behavior where he writes, “ So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.https://biblia.com/bible/niv/matthew/5/21-24

I will close with these two important points. The bible says we must forgive but that it doesn’t always lead to reconciliation. I found a link to an article that unpacks this concept in a wonderful way. https://bit.ly/forgivenessversusreconciliation Another important consideration is that we must forgive ourselves before we can ask someone else to forgive us. May times people can’t ask for forgiveness because they think how could someone else forgive me when I can’t forgive myself? This points us back to the promise God gives us in 1 John 1:9.

What relationship is out of accord and needs repair? Why not in Faith seek them out and share how they have hurt you or how you have hurt them. Give each other the opportunity to confess their part in the broken relationship with the Hope that things can be resolved. Break the silence in word or in deed knowing that Love is the greatest and will show you the way.

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Do people know you have been with Jesus?

Yes.  It has been a minute since I last wrote.  Life has been a bit crazy over these last couple of weeks. As shared in the past, I am going through the bible with a group of guys and this week we are in Acts.  I came across a couple verses that I am not sure I had noticed before. 
Acts 4:13,20 “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus….“ As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”
It raised the question in me, “Do others in my life, notice I have been with Jesus? When I see things going on that are wrong do I speak up or take action in some way? 

I then remembered the last few verses in Psalm 30:10-12

Hear, Lord, and be merciful to me;
Lord, be my help.”
You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.
Lord my God, I will praise you forever.

When I cry out does my wailing turn into dancing?  When I am lifted up out of discouragement or adversity, Do people hear me sing His praises or do I remain silent?

From these verses came two conversations this week.  
1) How do I practically apply these lessons as it relates to the folks asking for money on the street corners?  Honestly, I am at a loss as to what is the right thing to do but friends challenged me with the passage in Matthew 7-
Judge not, that ye be not judged.For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 

My not doing anything is in fact, me being silent.  One of the guys knew their names.  Another gave money to someone even when the individual shared after getting the money, “you know I am going to buy alcohol with it.”  I realized it wasn’t what the other person was going to do, it was me doing something to show that person I cared.  
2) A young woman I know shared with Dottie and me how she had left a job because kids were being demeaned and bullied by the person heading up the organization. Without words, her leaving communicated that she would not allow herself to be part of what was a destructive environment.  More of us need to have the courage to stand up and speak up for what we believe is right versus allowing things to remain the same because of our unwillingness to intervene in whatever way we can.   

And finally, a women was challenged to read the New Testament in 89 days. She wasn’t sure she had the time. A friend of hers who wasn’t a person of faith spoke up and said, I”I am going to do it, can i count on you to do it too” Needless to day the woman has now accepted the challenge. What if the friend had remained silent?

A regular contributor to my blog, Oswald Chambers 🙂 https://www.thespiritlife.net/facets/nurturing/75-process/process-reflection/1938-october-2-devotional-oswald-chambers reminds us we have get off of the mountain top so that we can take what we learned down into the valley. We are called to serve in the day to day and mundane places of our lives. That is where we can truly make a difference. I hope I have challenged you in some way to speak up and/or do acts of service to those paths God has you cross. I would love to hear how this blog has encouraged you. I hope it will spur you on to love and provide good works. https://www.biblehub.com/hebrews/10-24.htm You can reach by email at michael@mrg7175.com


 

 

No matter what our title, we are called to serve

I am guessing many of you got up early to be amongst the millions who watched the funeral of Queen Elizabeth. As I watched the service, I paraphrased Psalms 21 https://www.biblestudytools.com/psalms/21.html to express my feelings toward this extraordinary and beloved woman who reigned for 70 years. I used the verses 7 and 13. “For the Queen trusts in the Lord with her unfailing love of the Most High. She will not be shaken. Be exalted in your strength Queen Elizabeth. We will sing and praise a life lived well”

I wanted to write about sacrificial service this week. Her majesty’s funeral service brought what I wanted to share into focus. True service is forgetting about yourself and looking for ways to help those around you. Giving up your time and your God given resources to make a difference in someone else’s life. I found this great essay https://bit.ly/tolivewemustfirstdie written about a favorite book, Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom. In it Bill Onisick writes, “This we must first die perspective changes our attitude and our actions. Jesus says in Matthew 10:39, “He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.” Commentator Albert Barnes explains: “The word “life” in this passage is used evidently in two senses. The meaning may be expressed thus: He that is anxious to save his “temporal” life, or his comfort and security here, shall lose “eternal” life. . . . He that is willing to risk or lose his comfort and “life” here for my sake, shall find “life” everlasting, or shall be saved.”

Her funeral service, which she had planned years before, showed that Queen Elizabeth’s life was an example of a life lived this way. Even though she was born into the monarchy with everyone serving her, her first priority was to serve God. She most certainly had the comfort and security this “temporal’ life but from birth, her life was not her own. She would never be free to live the life she may have wanted. In his sermon, the Archbishop of Canterbury reminded us that, on her 21st birthday broadcast , she famously declared that “her whole life would be dedicated to serving the nation and Commonwealth.” He went on to say that Jesus exhorted  “I am the way, the truth and the life, follow me.” Her late Majesty’s example was not set through her position or her ambition, but through whom she followed.”

What if we all committed to do the same? When we follow Jesus, we too, become heirs to the eternal throne. Romans 8:17 explains it this way. “And if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we serve/suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. Much like Queen Elizabeth, we have to let go of our personal desires so that we can live the life God intended for us. When we realize that there is something for us bigger than we can ever imagine, we will find ourselves humbled that we are children of God. As His children, Our whole lives must be dedicated to serving as the Psalmist writes, the Most High. Only then, can we understand who we are and what is our true purpose.

I will end this post with how the Archbishop ended his sermon. “We will all face the merciful judgment of God: we can all share the Queen’s hope which in life and death inspired her servant leadership. Service in life, hope in death. All who follow the Queen’s example, and inspiration of trust and faith in God, can with her say: ‘We will meet again.’”  Here is the full text https://www.episcopalnewsservice.org/2022/09/19/archbishop-of-canterburys-sermon-for-the-state-funeral-of-queen-elizabeth-ii/

Thanks so much for reading this blog post. If you haven’t subscribed yet, please do so you can receive email notifications when new content is posted. You can reach me via email michael@mrg7175.com

Ready, Fire, Aim! What can go wrong when we get things out of order.

I have continued to ponder the importance of knowing on where should be your focus. Simon Sinek call this “Knowing what is your Why?” https://simonsinek.com/books/start-with-why/ Rick Warren would argue it is as having a Purpose filled Life. https://www.purposedriven.com/ Understanding who we were created to be makes it much easier to focus on how we are to go about becoming that person. The challenge is to stay true to your principles http://thankfulinallthings.com/where-is-your-focus/, so we don’t get distracted or waylaid by others or our circumstances.

John 8:31,32 says our Focus should be on the Truth of God’s Word. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=john%208:31-32&version=ESV. I love how it says it “sets us free”. But free from what? There are many explanations of what this statement means. I have used it to mean, that knowing God created me and my life is completed in my relationship with Him, allows me to not worry what others might think of my faith. I live with a desire to serve others confident I can trust that God is in control of the outcome.

Are you living your life with a Ready, Fire, Aim mentality? If so, unless you are really lucky, you will miss the mark of what you want for your life and those around you. The consequence of continually missing the mark is your persistence to hit your target will diminish. The more you miss the target, the less you will try because you think it is not worth your effort.

Are you missing the mark? It is not too late to change the order. 1) Decide you are Ready to live life the way you were created to live it. Acknowledge the nudging that there has to be more to your life that you are currently experiencing. Be willing to admit that maybe everything is not in your control. 2) Take Aim at the target. Think about what it is you really want to achieve in life. Acknowledge it is not just about experiencing success but leaving a legacy of significance.

Bob Buford digs into this concept in his book Finishing Well. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/270860.Finishing_Well 3) Once you find yourself Ready and you have taken Aim, Act (Fire) with the confidence that what you choose to do will make a positive difference in those who will benefit from your actions. The secret to your success will be your persistence. Remember the old adage “if you at first you don’t succeed, try, try, again.” There are many with wonderful life plans that never achieved them because they gave up on their dreams. They gave up on the 99th chop into a tree not realizing with the 100th the tree would have fallen. Knowing the truth about your purpose (your Why) keeps setbacks or naysayers from causing you to not achieve your ultimate goal.

Like Ready, Aim, Fire, practice Listen, See, and Feel. Listen to the words that come out of your mouth. Do they sound like things that show your confidence in what you plan to do? See you actions. Are you doing the things that will allow you to achieve your purpose? Are your daily actions moving you toward your ultimate goal? How does it Feel to be doing what you have planned? If you are working toward your true purpose (your why) no matter how hard, it should rejuvenate versus wear you out

My hope is you will take the time to understand how your life is best lived and then embark on the journey that will result in you living that life of significance that causes you to have no regret and where God will say, “Well done good and faithful servant” Maybe like Queen Elizabeth, a double rainbow will prepare the way for you too. 🙂

https://www.msn.com/en-gb/sport/other/queen-elizabeth-ii-double-rainbow-seen-over-buckingham-palace/vi-AA11CkZr?category=foryou

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Where is your focus?

If you read my blog last week, I ended the post with the concept of how humility allows us to experience gratitude. I found this 5 year old devotional that makes the point that humility and gratitude are a two way street meaning one can lead to the other. http://www.wisdomhunters.com/gratitude-develops-humility-2/God uses your gratitude to develop your heart of humility and grace.” What we focus on day by day or moment by moment will ultimately decide what we will get out of life. We each have the choice for it to be one filled with gratitude or disappointment from unmet expectations?



As I pondered this question, so many analogies came to mind. “if you want to know what is important, look at your checkbook.” ”Look at your calendar open to acknowledging what truly are your priorities.” “ If you don’t have goals for your life, you don’t have to worry about achieving them” Here is what I want us to consider. ”The consequences of our choices can make us better or make us bitter.” https://www.clarionledger.com/story/business/2017/02/04/better-bitter-only-difference/97392312/
Jesus makes this point with his disciples when He explains the parable in Mark 4. We can have the best of intentions for our lives but can, ”18 like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; 19 but we let the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word (our focus), making it unfruitful”

God intends for us to live an abundant life. John 10:10 He wants us to dwell on this promise so ”our Joy may be made full and complete” John 15:11 Humility comes from experiencing this undeserved abundance from God which makes our lives full and complete. When we remember that we are loved by God, gratitude flows. Pamela Bunn sums it up this way. ”It is God’s living word that brings righteousness, teaches trust, and effects flourishing.”

May we be people “Blessed because we trust in the Lord,
    whose trust is the Lord.
He is like a tree planted by water,
    that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes,
    for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought,
    for it does not cease to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8

However you found this blog post I hope you have you been encouraged. if so, please feel free to share it with others. please subscribe so you can receive email notifications when new content is posted. I can be reached by email at michael@mrg7175.com

What is true friendship?

What makes someone your true friend? What gives them that honor in your life? Do you have that honor in someone else’s life? I have been reading through 1 Samuel this month which has once again reminded me of the friendship between Jonathan and David. Read the verses below and then write down all that it teaches your about what it means to be a friend or to have a friend like Jonathan. (my italics and bold font will give you a hint)

1 Samuel 18: 3,4 “Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt. 1 Samuel 20:13-15 He blessed him saying, “May the Lord be with you as he has been with my father.  But show me unfailing kindness like the Lord’s kindness for as long as I live, so that I may not be killed,  and do not ever cut off your kindness from my family—not even when the Lord has cut off every one of David’s enemies from the face of the earth.”

In a group discussion I lead each week, my friend Julio Soto shared this link with us regarding the characteristics of true friendship. https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/true-friends-are-hard-to-find The points made in this article substantiate what made the friendship of Jonathan and David so special. 1) They each heightened their own joy in God. 2) They helped each other to see their own blind spots and imperfections (sin) that kept them from the life God wanted them to live. 3) Jonathan especially spurred David up in his love for God and wanting to do good works. (Hebrews 10:24) I am guessing knowing Jonathan was Saul’s son helped David not kill Saul when he had the chance. 4) A true friend is there when we feel alone. “Walking through life in a God-belittling world, with our sin-ridden flesh, against a hell-bent enemy, is too hard to be attempted alone.” Jonathan continually reminded David he was there for him no matter what. His taking off the robe and giving it to David, along with his tunic, his sword, his bow, and his belt symbolized David was truly a member of his family and that he would be there for him no matter what. 5) Friends will be drawn closer together as they grow in their faith in God. “Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)

Another friend shared his personal manta, #TWS. It stands for “Two Way Street”. The power of true friendship is when people are committed to each other in the same way. It results in being the recipient of someone else’s unconditional love while desiring to return it in the same way. It personalizes in a positive way, “what goes around comes around” Like #2 notes above, one must remember each person has their own faults and therefore, their first commit must be to the Lord who is always present and will never disappoint. When we love the Lord with all our heart first and THEN love others as God loves us, we can trust that the outcome will be friendships that heighten our own joy. https://biblehub.com/matthew/22-37.htm We can move forward boldly in life never feeling alone in our quest to be the people for which we were created. That is the power of true friendships. We experience humility when we realize someone loves us just because and out of it flows gratitude that allows us to live out being thankful in all things.  

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