Dec. 15, 2008
I saw an interesting article this morning entitled “Obama’s friends form strategy for staying a tight-knit group.” It was discussing how his three closest long time friends from Chicago plan on staying close once he is installed as “the most powerful man on earth” and hidden away in the confines of the White House. They were lamenting how it will be hard to continue the scrabble games, BBQs and family get togethers. And I am sure it will be…
I got to thinking about how Christians ought to be just as strategic about how they plan on encouraging, maturing and sustaining the wonderful god given relationships that He lavishes on us. Some of us have lots of special relationships; others of us nurture a few dear friends. Regardless of the number of friends, it would be appropriate for you and me to stop this Christmas season and relish our meaningful friendships.
The Bible actually tells us exactly how to do that. The injunctions are listed among the “One Another” passages. We are by love to serve one another (Gal. 5:13), we are to submit ourselves to one another (Gal. 5:21), we are to admonish one another (Col. 3:16), we are to forgive one another (Col. 3:13) and we are to abound in love for one another (I Thes. 3:12).
During the holidays, relationships seem to take on a bigger meaning for most of us, both positively and negatively. On the positive side, tis the season to be with those you love…to find meaningful ways to express that love and appreciation for them…to emphasize serving rather than being served.
But on the negative side, sometimes strained relationships get exacerbated during the holidays. I laugh when I hear stories about how one member of a family no longer speaks to Uncle Joe, even though no one can remember why. Perhaps it would be a good time to forgive one another and seek ways to serve them.
The bottom line is, let’s take this opportunity to be intentional about our precious friendships. Make a list of those God has given you, pray for them, let them know you are praying for them, and maybe better yet, write out your prayer and send it to them. Think through how you might serve a dear friend. Do they need some child care or a meal or maybe just a favorite dessert? Who in your closest circle needs encouragement? Make something for them that just screams “I CARE!”
If President Elect Obama’s friends are calendaring when and how they will be able to continue their close relationships, you and I should be able to honor our dearest friends during this celebration of our savior’s birth. The wise men brought gifts to a baby that would become their dearest friend. You and I need to wisely find ways to honor our precious relationships.
Warmest regards in Christ,
Sherry L. Worel
Stoneybrooke Christian Schools