I have been thinking about friendship recently and my thinking has been helped by this character!
Yes, I am a granddad and I have come under the influence of my 18 month old granddaughter who loves Mr Tumble. For those of you reading who have no idea what I am on about, I recommend CBeeBies!
During the show, Mr Tumble sings as song, the lyrics are
Friends friends, what can you do with friends?
He then goes on to list a number of activities such as dog walking, paddling in the sea and so forth. Activities are much better with friends! I know it’s a kids program but, I think, he has something.
One of the sad things I see in society is that loneliness is on the increase, I believe, the qualities of friendship are being lost. Yes, we have “social media” but, that produces with it a degree of anonymity. Just because you have X number of “friends” on Facebook (other social media platforms are available) doesn’t make them real friends and the truth is, we all need friends. REAL FRIENDS
Sometimes, I read a few verses in the Bible that really shock me, and that’s what happened today.
Now when I went to Troas to preach the gospel of Christ and found that the Lord had opened a door for me, I still had no peace of mind, because I did not find my brother Titus there. So I said good-by to them and went on to Macedonia.
(2 Corinthians 2 vs. 12 – 13)
What shocked me was that the great Paul, a man who was so skilled at preaching, had an open door before him. Yet, Paul couldn’t preach because he was desperate for news from his friend, Titus (regarding the Corinthian Church). No friend, no preaching! He decides to leave this open door and go and seek his friend to set his mind at rest. It’s interesting that, throughout 2 Corinthians, Paul refers many times to Titus and their friendship.
If you read the book of Exodus, you find that Moses needs the support of a friend (his brother), Aaron, to enable him to stand before Pharaoh. David and Jonathan’s friendship carried on even beyond Jonathan’s death in the beautiful story of Mephibosheth (read 2 Samuel 9 for that). I am firmly convinced that Jesus selected the twelve as friends as well as disciples.
Have I made my point?
Just in case you still have doubts!
As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
(Proverbs 27 vs. 17)
Friendships achieve much together. It was out of friendships that the ministers in Clacton engaged in mission on the streets. It was out of friendship, that new ideas were born and we worked closely together.
So, here is a fact of life for you.
Friends do move on. Life goes on. Friends move away, retire, get new jobs and have other responsibilities. One of the reasons why I like social media, I can still keep in touch with people who were friends years ago.
Just because, old friends have gone, doesn’t mean that we cannot find new ones! But, it does take effort and time. Along the way you may face disappointment and hurt. Maybe you will even have to face things in yourself that you don’t like. But, friendship is worth a try.
Let’s face it, if we in the Church cannot give it go, how can we expect the rest of the world to follow?
A man who has friends must himself be friendly
(Proverbs 18 vs. 24)