24 October 2010 (Rishon/Pesach)|
Day #222, 5934 AM
What Type Do You Seek?
Watching and listening to mother in her many meetings and conversations with friends has made me think about the whole nature of friendship. Because we are limited both by time and opportunity, it is never possible to ever have more than a limited number of intimate friends at any one time. That's common sense. What, then, should be the criteria for making friends? They come and they go, built as they are on different bases which are always changing...except that which does not change. As David Smith rightly observed in his hymn:
There have been a whole procession of friends in my life connected with time and geography, circumstance and opportunity. But which have really remained? Old friendships were based, very often, on old assumptions of common interests and belief. But what when those interests and beliefs change? The friendships are weakened and often we are forced to choose between old friendships and new. There can be conflicts that lead to an end in friendship. I have had many 'best friends' but they have all gone - we have parted because of changes of allegiance. And if I had tried to maintain them, it would have resulted in serious compromise with my faith. Relationships change, sometimes faster than we would like, and sometimes painfully (which we never like). I shall never forget when my best friend betrayed me and I learned, the hard way, what it is to misapply faith.
"You may value the friendship of youth and of age,
And select for your comrades the noble and sage;
But the friends that most cheer on life's rugged road,
Are the friends of my Master, the children of God."
We get wiser with the years because of experience; but we can grow wiser still if we will take counsel from the righteous and imitate their ways.
"The words of a slanderer are as dainty morsels, which go down into the inner parts of the heart. Burning lips with an evil heart are like earthenware covered with silver dross. He who hates, pretends with his lips, and lays up deceit within him; though he speaks kindly, do not believe him, for there are seven abominations in his heart. Hatred is covered by deceit. His evil is disclosed in the assembly" (Prov.26:22-26, ISRV).
(From the Diary of Lev-Tsiyon, 19 October 2003, England)
"Flee from the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on Yahweh out of a pure heart. Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And Yahweh's servant must not quarrel; instead he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that Yahweh will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will" (1 Tim.2:22-26, ISRV).