I Was Livid
Theme of the Week: Friends on Purpose
Thursday, January 22, 2004
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Key Bible Verse: If another Christian is overcome by some sin, you … should … help that person back onto the right path (Galatians 6:1). Bonus Reading:John 4:4-42
Chris, in his mid-20s and married, had just left his wife and son. His stunned wife called with the news. I'd lost close contact with Chris as his quest for a bigger house kept pushing them farther into the suburbs. But I'd attended this guy's wedding, given him marriage books, attended Promise Keepers conferences with him, and mentored him in a Sunday school class, while he struggled with his desires for motorcycles, Jet Skis, X-Box's, and other hobbies versus his wife's desire for domestic stability. Now I was so mad at him.
But as I re-read the story of Jesus with the woman at the well, it dawned on me. Christ had every reason to chew the woman out, but didn't. Instead, He brought the issue down to, "Why are you acting this way? What is it you want?" I put my righteous indignation aside, met Chris at a Bennigan's restaurant, and did a modern version of this approach. He'd obviously expected me to chew him out, just like his mom and countless others had. He shook my hand and thanked me as we parted. My approach left him at a loss but put hope in his eyes.
I'd really wanted to be another judge. But Chris just needed a friend.
—Jeffrey Leever, a writer
Thought to Apply: A friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out. —Walter Winchell
My Response: Someone I need to "be there" for right now is …
Copyright © 2004 by the author or Christianity Today/Men of Integrity magazine.
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Prayer for the Week
Thank you, Father, for the gift of true friends. Help me to value my friendships and keep them in good repair.
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