Last night at Life Night we identified qualities of a good friend and qualities of a bad friend. On the good list we found Loyalty, Honesty, and Prayer. On the bad list; Manipulation, Hypocrisy, and Negligence. We discussed the moments in our lives when we have experienced good friendships, and the moments when we have been a good friend. We also discussed the moments in our lives that we have experienced bad friendships, and the moments when we have been a bad friend.
Our lives are full of relationships, and the reality is, relationships are difficult sometimes. It's inevitable. We are going to be surprised with random acts of kindness. We are going to be comforted by someone in our moments of vulnerability or sadness. We too, at times, are going to be vessels of kindness and comfort. Unfortunately though, we will also experience moments of disappointment. Those who we think will always be there for us will let us down from time to time. Some of you have probably experienced this much more than you'd like. We too, at times, will disappoint or hurt someone. So what do we do?
I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father. -John 15:15 Jesus is the one friend who will never let us down or betray us, and we can take that to the bank. We can trust Him. He has laid a pathway of kindness and love; forgiveness and mercy before each of us, and has invited us to follow Him. This week, choose kindness over gossip. Choose love over hate. Choose forgiveness over resentment. Choose mercy over the need to be right. These choices aren't easy. Can you imagine how different our world would be if they were?
To close the night, we prayed for each other. We prayed for our relationships. We prayed for courage to face the most difficult aspects of our lives, and we prayed for you. During this Season of Advent, choose to let go of whatever keeps you from being the friend God created you to be.