Monday, December 21, 2015

A Great Gift This Christmas

When I got up to write this morning's blog, the timing seemed just right for bringing this whole theme of friendship to a close. I have to say, as I've looked at the number of hits on the blog site over these past few weeks, I've been a bit surprised (and, mostly, humbled) at the high numbers of readers. Overall, since we started digging a little deeper on what friendship looks like through the lens of Scripture, this blog's had a great response, which tells me the topic has resonated. If so, I'm glad. If it's clarified, helped, or brought about some renewed thinking, then I'm grateful. With this in mind, I picked up my Bible to where I'm reading in Colossians, wondering just how I was supposed to bring this to an end.

Paul reminds me how important relationships are. He opened the book of Colossians with a prayer of thanks for the faithful believers at this little church, and he closes the book with a string of greetings to and from specific individuals. Paul makes no bones about it; he considers his wealth to be the friends he has made over the course of his life. We've all heard the phrase "rich in friends." As I sat and contemplated this truth, it dawned on me that if I have just one I call by the title friend (in the Biblical sense of the word), I have found a treasure.

It is the Christmas season, undoubtedly there are a few gifts you've purchased, and a few gifts you'll be given...but, perhaps this Christmas, the best gift you can offer is that of your friendship. I have this problem of looking in the mirror a little too much. It's not because I want to see what I look like, but I want to measure my life, size it up, by what I think I see about me. A part of that measure is scaled (wrongly) on how many friends I have, and wondering, "how do people feel about me?" Instead, I need to look outward, what can I do to authentically be an "if-the-Lord's-the-Lord-of-them friend?" Especially at this time of year, there are many who could use one of those...many who are lonely, many who are in need of comfort and cheer; who could use a warm hug, an encouraging, hope-filled smile, and a meaningful conversation. Who do you know in your world that could use a friend? "If you want to have a friend, be a friend..." (remember it's not easy, but it's so NEEDED!).  There's no better time to start putting into practice a few building blocks.

This Christmas, give the gift of friendship...

AnD tHeN, there's this is JuSt don't forget:

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