I realized between all the busyness of my life, I forgot to put this chapter up! Sorry for the delay!!
The first part of the chapter about the gangs really saddened me. It saddens me because we all were born with the need for relationships. These poor kids grew up with a big hole in their heart….one they tried to fill probably as a child, but they knew something was missing… a relationship. And when their families and friends didn’t fill it, they looked for some way that they could feel they belong. It saddens me that they would feel that they would need to murder someone to belong.
I’ve known a lot of Christians who once they accept Christ as their Savior, they don’t find a church body to grow and be loved and to love. I was one of those. I searched and searched when I was first saved, and when I couldn’t find anything to fill the bill, I stopped trying. I am sure that Satan was purely happy about that. It gave him time to work really hard on me to doubt my salvation, since nothing seemed to go easily once I got saved…it actually got harder.
It wasn’t until I was married and our son was 3, did we find what I called a church home. A body of believers, who at first loved us unconditionally while we got to know the church, and then who encouraged us to serve and to be served. There was so much love in that body of Christ, it was incredible.
Her section on friends is incredible. I always used to think that something was wrong with me because I really don’t have very many close friends. Stormie helped me to see that the close friends I have, even though there aren’t many, are just the friends that God has chosen to help me imitate him. As I read her “Seven Good Signs of a Desirable Friend”, my friends all fit the bill….
1.A desirable friend tells you the truth in love.
2. A desirable friend gives you sound advice.
3. A desirable friend refines you.
4. A desirable friend helps you grow in wisdom.
5. A desirable friend stays close to you.
6. A desirable friend loves you and stands by you.
7. A desirable friend is a help in times of trouble.
My closest friends are my coworkers. I literally cringe every time I hear them call my their “boss” in a phone conversation or to families that we serve because I was their friend before I was their boss. They are truly beautiful Christian people who love God and who love me. I need to start praying more for these ladies. They are my true friends whom God has blessed me with.
Have you ever evaluated your friends? Do they build you up, or do they tempt you to sin? Are they in God’s Word or are the foolish followers of the world? Do they give you good advice or ungodly counsel? Pray for the friends in your life. If you have some undesirable friends, pray that God would give you wisdom about them….are you planting a seed or do you need to let them go.
Again, sorry this is so late. It was a very good chapter to read and one that made me realize that even though my friends are few, my friends are good, strong Christians who are just who I need.