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Friendship is Like a Cupcake . . .

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Nothing is quite like the company of a good friend.  It’s a feeling that can be a little difficult to explain, but I can equate it with doing some of my favorite things.  I love cupcakes.  Not the skinny, mini, or baby cupcakes (the ones I should like), but the big, scrumptious melt in your mouth ones, heavy on the frosting.  For me, being with a friend is like enjoying my favorite cupcake (white wedding cake).  Or let’s say, like curling up on an autumn day with a great book.  Or maybe even a trip to my favorite store when they have a 75% off sale.  As corny as it may seem, spending time with a real friend actually is much better than any of my favorite things to do.  Yet, so many people really don’t experience the blessing of this type of relationship.  I’m convinced that life can offer so much more when we are sharpened, strengthened, supported and loved by a true Christian friend.  Conversely, we gain so much when we offer insight, strength, support and love to another.

My favorite friendship in the Bible is the relationship between Jonathan and David.  There were fast friends but dear ones to one another.  Jonathan, who would have been next in line to be king of Israel, befriended David anyway, understanding that because of his father’s disobedience to God, David would be king.  When Saul pursued David to kill him, Jonathan helped him escape, and even confronted his father about his assault on David.  As a result, Saul also turned his wrath towards his son.  Yet, Jonathan truly loved David as he loved himself (I Samuel 18:3).  Aside from their commonality in their love for God, they also both viewed each other as brothers and were loyal.

Loyalty almost seems like an outdated word today, but its value is immeasurable.  We show our character, commitment and love when we stick with friends during hard times.  While many may disperse when trouble strikes, a real friend runs to help when calamity strikes.  Proverbs 17:17 reads, “A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need” (NLT).

In the NIV translation of the same verse, it says, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”  We also show our loyalty to our friends when we are trustworthy.  True friends love and are trustworthy.  You can confide in them, knowing that what is said to them will be kept between them.  Nothing destroys trust faster than a friend who betrays confidences by having loose lips.  If we desire meaningful, lifelong friendships, we must know how to keep quiet—no matter how much we may want to share.

Another thing that we have to careful not to do if we desire real, true friends is to be aware of our conversation.  Sometimes I talk to people, and they’re like faucets.  Their mouths are in a state of constant motion, always talking about themselves, their problems, their victories.  You know how a faucet can’t suck water up, only spews it out.  Well, these types of folks don’t have a desire to come outside of themselves to listen, care, and understand what someone else might be going through.  Undoubtedly, these types of people don’t have too many real friends, if any at all.  They often find that others simply tolerate them.  I do have to add that the amazing thing is—often, they don’t notice because they’re so wrapped up in themselves!

You’ve probably heard at least one of these scriptures from Proverbs: “Wounds from a friend can be trusted,” or “Iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” In other words, we need friends who will tell us the truth, even if it hurts.  We should beware if we’re surrounded by “yes” people.  If people always think everything we do, say, and feel is right, we really should question that relationship.  A true friend doesn’t want us to err and will risk our possibly unhappiness with them to do what’s right for us in the long run.

Finally, the aim of a real friend is to build up, not tear down.  When jealousy and envy rear their ugly heads in relationships, destruction is imminent.  The root of the problem really has everything to do with the jealous or envious person’s relationship with Christ.  When we’re not grounded in Him, we’re like fish trying to survive out of water, flapping around aimlessly for security in people and things that will never provide the validation and self-esteem desired.  Jealous and envious “frenemies” are dangerous and obviously should be avoided at all costs.

If we examine our lives and find that we need a friend, we need to remember that we need to be a friend first (Proverbs 18:24).  Be prayerful, and let God show you who you can trust.  Don’t be confined by what you see in the natural (remember a friend of the world is an enemy of God); focus on sharpening your spiritual eye to see what you can give to another and gain from their insight.  Life will be much sweeter with a friend.  And just like a cupcake, a true friendship is sweet, uplifting, and satisfying—minus the calories:).

~Blessings and Love~

Be sure to visit http://www.Kennedyskakes.com

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#UpdatingYourStatus

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I have no idea how the whole hashtag thing began or really what it even means, but I know enough to know that you can give small bits of information succinctly while simultaneously updating your status.  These days, nearly everyone is updating their status in some way, and generally speaking, it’s a fun and harmless way to connect with others.  Sometimes though, it gives a tremendous amount of insight into a person’s character.  Just a few days ago, I noticed a man that posted pictures of a big wad of one hundred dollar bills, a luxury car, a nice home, and even pictures of himself with a famous actor. Needless to say, his pictures tell others a lot about his personality and what’s important to him.

Most of us can’t resist letting others know what’s going on with us, whether it be through a picture, hashtag, or sentence or two on social media.  Some who consider themselves above participating in social media may feel that they escape the need to update their status, but it isn’t limited to those on social media.  People are doing it everywhere, all of the time, and it’s nothing new.  We all want to feel like somebody.  We all want to feel important.  However, seeking status can be very dangerous for believers.

When people hunger and thirst for a place of prominence and have an inflated sense of themselves, they are dangerous, not just to others, but also to themselves.  They operate backwards.  Instead of putting others first and listening to their needs, they only feel, see and act out of their own selfish pride and interests.  They only want to connect with others who can do something for them—those who have something to get them one step closer to where they desire to be.  Other people become pawns and figureheads, and the status seekers lose out on developing real, meaningful relationships, which could advance them in the Kingdom, though maybe not in a worldly, status-wise way.

When people have an over-inflated sense of themselves, they constantly compare themselves with others, always seeking to find a way to make themselves superior or better in some way.   This is dangerous because it divides us.  Even if nobody ever says it, spiritual people discern motives quickly and will distance themselves from people who do this.

When people are status seekers instead of God-seekers, they can’t be fully used by God.  Their vision is off center, not God-centered and the frightening thing about it is that they might not even realize it—that’s the deception.  They may appear to be righteous but lurking beneath the surface lie impure motives.  I might add that people don’t have to wealthy or powerful to be status seekers.  Status seekers come in all races, classes, and cultures.

How can we update our status to reflect who we really are in Christ?

First, we are instructed to serve humbly in the body of Christ. In Romans 12:3, Paul teaches, “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.”  We can only really see ourselves and examine our motives when we are in right relationship with Jesus Christ.  It’s not an intellectual journey, but it’s a spiritual one.  We must truly get in the Word and obey it—no excuses and no exceptions.  Whether we’ve been saved for one day or fifty years, we need to read and obey the Word, pray, and seek Him FIRST.

Jesus says in Matthew 23:11-12, “The greatest among you will be your servant.  For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”  Humbling ourselves doesn’t mean that we become a doormat, but it is trusting that God is in control.  We don’t have to be given special titles, awards, recognition, or authority when we are in right relationship with the only One who can truly validate us and give our lives meaning and purpose.  We don’t have to struggle for position, power, or control.  God is the One that should be exalted and given credit for every good thing that happens, and this doesn’t just mean lip service. Our hearts for Him should pour out through our actions and behavior towards one another.  This unites us, and we will naturally uplift one another, recognizing individual, God-given gifts and talents.  When we all uplift Christ, we all win!

So, do you need to update your status? Examine yourself today with me, and let’s allow “our lives [to] be the mirror that reflects the image of Christ.”

Blessings,

MaRita Continue reading “#UpdatingYourStatus”