Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Birds and Friendships

Amos 3:3 (Amp) Do two walk together except they make an appointment and have agreed?

A favorite saying when Mom was rearing each of her children was “Birds of a feather flock together”. She tried to instill in us the importance of selecting our friends knowing we would eventually become them. She knew that our reputation would become our friends by association. Basically, Mom’s quote was an effort to safe guard.

Recently Mom posted something similar on Facebook. It created quite a dialogue. Some felt Mom was rude, uncaring, or prejudiced against people who choose to not live a life of holiness. I grew frustrated because someone told Mom she wasn’t the sweet person she knew Mom to be. I endeavored to carefully explain Mom has lived this principle my entire life. The person felt it an unchristian approach. Mom does not refer to ‘flocking or friending’ in regards to outreach rather those who we share close friendly relationships. In fact this is a very scriptural principle based on Amos 3:3. Additionally, this is a very civic principle. If you are with persons vandalizing and the group is caught everyone is guilty. If you are with persons doing drugs all are guilty if an arrest is made.

I have many ‘friends’ who do not live the way I live nor believe the way I believe. But those who are my closest, best friends, bff, or how you may describe the person will have much in common. Recently, I was asked why is it when people leave a congregation they began to talk or befriend others who have left the congregation when previously they weren’t friends are didn’t talk. We have pastored for almost 20 years. Through the years there have been those who have left and I have noticed the conclusion drawn by my friend is often true. This has not only happened in regards to CUPC but in two other churches I’ve been strongly associated with. Additionally, I have seen it via Facebook from other churches. In this setting of forming friendships or groups the people are trying to connect to a part of their life. The common ground is the church they attended.

Ministers & wives are friends with other ministers & wives. Last week Trent and Calah drove to Beaumont to spend time with a young minister & wife. This week we had some ministry friends traveling thru Texas from Kansas enroute to Louisiana. They decided to stay the night in Conroe so we could spend a few hours together.

Recently I have decided to challenge our youth to do more. In so doing I began to think those who serve tend to be friends with others who serve and those who become discouraged hang with other discouraged teens.

Of late I have gone through a few difficult times. I am certain I have been an emotional strain on some dear friends who have kept me encouraged. However, our relationship will not last if I am always taking from my friends and not depositing something into the relationship. This challenges my thinking. If I realize I can weaken my friends then I must acknowledge friends can weaken me.

What kind of persons will I associate? Those who gossip, complain, cause disunity, and are judgmental or will I be with those who are faith filled, friendly, positive, and Christ like? Sometimes a close look at our friends reveals who we are. True friendships are not casual. Rather I believe our friendships are as Amos 3:3 suggests planned because we have made an appointment and agree otherwise the friendship would not exist.


Keith and Carla said...

Enjoyed reading your thoughts today! My Mother raised us by the same principle as yours. Before we were older, she refused to let us even go over to others' houses that she did not approve of. I thank God for my 'mean' Mother!!! :)

Sis. Susan Roen said...

Very timely kids get back to school and their school friends!

Pastor R Kent Smith said...

I am happy to see this blog has come back to life!!!!!

Ron and Jerry Ann Guidroz said...

I feel the same way. Love your blogging. You are inspiring me to get started again.
Love you. Glad I'm among your friends.

Anonymous said...

Loved your thoughts! Read this on the net the other day:

The other side of the coin is how we as Christians should “flock”. And it’s no coincidence that we are considered to be in the “flock” (sheep flock, not bird flock) of God with Jesus as our Shepherd. In 2 Corinthians we read:

“Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?” – 2 Corinthians 6:14 NKJV

We are God’s birds, birds of light, and as such we should ”flock” together and keep oursleves out of the dark.

Jerri Barnes - Burna, KY
Harvest House - Home Missions Church/ Pastor Daniel Orten