Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Drawbacks of Friendship

The Drawbacks of Friendship

Galatians 2:12
12 For before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group.

It’s hard to be friends with everybody when we all come with different beliefs, values, and agendas. It’s easier to be friendly than it is to be friends. One of the drawbacks of friendship is that some of your friends will draw back when fear overrides their friendship. A true friend sticks closer than a brother but an associate will draw back when your friendship is no longer convenient for their other alliances or political aspirations. It’s necessary to know where your friends stand with you so that you will not experience draw backs at a crucial time in your life. It’s better to know now where they stand with you.

Paul confronted his associate Peter to his face, because Peter associated with the gentile believers until his Jewish friends came around. Peter would eat with the Gentiles and fellowship but when his Jewish friends started putting pressure on him to compel the Gentiles to be circumcised Peter drew back. Paul reminded Peter that they were preaching a Gospel of Grace, not Law. Paul told Peter that he was being hypocritical. Friendship should never change because new people are in the room.

When your “friends” draw back from you this is what you should do:

1. Confront them to their face. Verse 11 When you see inconsistencies in friends you should have a face to face. Use this as a time to discern whether or not they need to be your friend or just an associate.

2. Believe who they are. Verse 13. Paul said they were two faced. They were one way with him and one way with others. It’s not that you can’t be friends with two faced people but just know who they are and watch what you say in front of them. You trust friends and you communicate with associates.

3. Focus on your mission. Verse 8. Paul knew that his mission was to the Gentiles and Peter’s mission was to the Jews. Once you determine what your mission is you focus all your energy on that mission and on people who have like missions. My associates are not my enemies. We just have different missions which means we won’t be spending a lot of time together. It is what it is.

4. Recognize who you are in Jesus. Verse 20. I have been crucified in Christ, I no longer live but he lives in me which means that my mission overrides my need to be accepted by everybody. I must be about my Father’s business and those who do the will of my Father are my brothers, sisters, and friends.

Dear God,

I’m not afraid to stand alone during this season with a few real friends. I’ve experienced setbacks and drawbacks but I also have experienced some comebacks! Help me to be a consistent friend and love no matter who is in the room. Help me to be a friend that sticks closer than a brother and to stick close in the time of adversity. Thank you Jesus for being that friend to me.

In your name,

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