John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
I have a good friend who recently shared upon her retirement that she wished she had spent less time focusing on the ABC’s and more time focusing on the F’s. This I had to hear. In fact, I began taking notes as she talked.
She said, “you know we’ve spent our entire lives either trying to get A’s, B’s and C’s, or teaching the ABC’s to our students. What I wish I had done more of was focus on Faith, Family, Friends and Forgiveness.”
I took a few minutes to process what she was saying, and I can tell you when we discover a moment of clarity and hindsight, we become so much smarter.
I get it! I get what she was saying. Probably none of us would put less emphasis on teaching others the ABC’s of life because that’s an important part of who we are; but maybe what we need to do is strike more of a balance.
As I started thinking about the F’s, I thought about their significance.
Our FAITH in God is the firm foundation for which we can rest on as He equips us through the study of His word and our experiences to handle anything that comes our way. It’s our relationship with Him that helps us live a life full of joy, hope and peace.
I want FAMILY to be the heart and soul of who we are and who we have become. The unconditional love and support provided by those closest to us is reassuring; it’s also the kind of love we get from our Heavenly Father at ALL times.
FORGIVENESS involves both attitude and action and we should never withhold forgiveness. Romans 12:17-21 says if we love someone the way Christ loves us, then we should always be willing to forgive.
Sometimes it’s difficult to swallow our pride and admit we’ve made a mistake, but the beauty of asking for forgiveness is in the healing and restoration of a friendship or relationship.
And last, but not least, our FRIENDS makeup such a huge part of our lives that in many instances they are more like family. It’s good to have an assortment of friends who span the generations because they bring diversity, appreciation, wisdom, perspective and love.
Each of us may have a large group of acquaintances and friends from church, work, or other activities. But I suspect most of us have a fairly small core group of close friends, and maybe we are blessed to have a Best Good Friend (BGF).
God’s word tells us in Proverbs 13:20 to choose our friends wisely. True friends make up our inner circle. We appreciate them, love them and count on them.
When I think of the qualities we look for in a friend I think of loyal, sincere, loving, supportive, giving, honest, dependable, and trustworthy. It is those same qualities that we must have as a friend.
What’s special about a personal core group is they are who you can be yourself with, and vice versa. We need friends who will stick close, listen and care for us, just as we would do for them.
I treasure the precious things my friends say and do, but more than that, I treasure them and the memories we create. I appreciate their kindness, generosity, unwavering support and love, regardless of the situation, the time invested, the favor, the crisis or whatever else might crop up. There’s great comfort knowing what a core group of friends means to one another, because a good friend loveth at all times (Proverbs 17:17).
Perhaps making a list of those special individuals and the qualities, talents and abilities they each possess will reveal how amazing they truly are and how blessed we are to have them in our lives. Each one of us is unique and special and has much to offer others.
When I think about this special group of women I can tell you I am thankful for who I am surrounded by. I am grateful for His orchestration in gathering up these special individuals over a period of years and planting them in my life.
We are not perfect. We don’t all like the same clothing styles, music, food, or movies. We differ in age, height, weight, hair and eye color. But, we all have one very special quality in common–we are Women of Faith and followers of Jesus Christ. We are united in FAITH and FRIENDSHIP because of who He is and because of what’s He’s done. It doesn’t get any better than that.
As you go through this week, pray for your friends and pray over them. Ask God to reveal your true friends to you and take the challenge to be the best, true friend in Christ you can be.
Love to all and I’ll be praying for your journey this week.