Day 33

How Hard Is That

Philippians 1:3-8 (CSB) I give thanks to my God for every remembrance of you, 4always praying with joy for all of you in my every prayer, 5because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. 6I am sure of this, that he who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. 7Indeed, it is right for me to think this way about all of you, because I have you in my heart, and you are all partners with me in grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. 8For God is my witness, how deeply I miss all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.

Genuine friendships are a rare blessing. Sure, there are people with whom you may have interactions, and these are often called friends. But a genuine friend with whom you can be open and honest; these are exceedingly rare. You have encountered that person with whom you were open to later discover that friend told other people what was happening in your life. Sometimes this is housed in, “We need to pray for Paul because he is having a struggle with alcohol.” Praying for someone can be a stealthy way of gossiping!

The Apostle Paul penned Philippians while he was under house arrest in Rome. Paul could have been executed at any time with the tyrant Nero as Caesar of the Roman Empire. Paul needed comfort and support. He wrote to authentic Christian friends whom he knew would really pray for him! They would not criticize Paul to others because of Paul’s predicament. They would not judge Paul to others about Paul’s ability to rile the authorities. Paul had other people who had befriended him but later deserted him when the pressure was on. But Paul knew these friends were willing to risk their lives in the partnership of the Gospel. They too were telling others about Jesus the Messiah. These friends had ‘skin in the game’. Paul could count on them.

Paul had genuine friends. Are you a genuine friend? Friendship is a two-way endeavor. When you are a genuine friend that can be counted on by others, these friends will be there for you in your time of need. To have a genuine friend is to first be a genuine friend. How hard is that?
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