I have been thinking, ruminating, cogitating (sounding a little deep aren’t I?) But sometimes things happen right under your nose and you let them slide, other times you just have to say something, this is one of those times.
My mother was basically a shy person and since we moved a lot she was continually put into the situation of being the “new preacher’s wife”. A little background on exactly how shy she was: When she and my dad were newly wed they went grocery shopping. She was a very young eighteen and had never gone into a grocery store by herself to buy anything, (things were a little different before 1942), so when my dad told her to go ask the man at the counter, who was making fresh peanut butter, to give her a pound of peanut butter she got in line and kept letting people get in front of her until my dad had finished finding the item he was going to get while she was getting the peanut butter. When he got back and she was still at the back of the line he was a little irritated about it and she burst into tears! The end of that story is that he didn’t send her to get a “pound of anything” for a very long time! Back to the what I was saying, when she would dread going into the new situations my dad would invariably say, to her and to us all, “A man that hath friends must show himself friendly!” That is from Proverbs 18:24 and the rest of that verse says, “And there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.”
So now we know that if you want a friend you have to be a friend. What else?
We always quote, “Do unto others as you would have the do unto you.” I wonder if you realize that it was Jesus who said that to us? What does it mean exactly?
If I am happy, even if you are unhappy you try to rejoice with me because I am your friend and you love seeing me happy! Then you can expect me to reciprocate next time you have a cute story or something happy you want to share. Then if I feel a little sad, I would like for you to be sympathetic, you don’t have to get down with me, just understand that I have a point and I will do the same for you! If I speak, I like to be heard, as do you. We are social creatures and every one of us has at least one thing we are sensitive or self-conscious about, or a particular “button” that can be pushed to cause a reaction and it is something that we all learn about each other and if you care, then we should be careful with each other.
I wrote about wearing the “Armor of God” yesterday and we need to have it on to face the “enemy of our soul”, we shouldn’t have to wear it to deal with each other!
Matthew 7:1-12 “Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, and criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor. Don’t be flip with the sacred. Banter and silliness give no honor to God. Don’t reduce holy mysteries to slogans. In trying to be relevant, you’re only being cute and inviting sacrilege. Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This isn’t a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we’re in. If your child asks for bread, do you trick him with sawdust? If he asks for fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? As bad as you are, you wouldn’t think of such a thing. You’re at least decent to your own children. So don’t you think the God who conceived you in love would be even better? Here is a simple, rule-of-thumb guide for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you, then grab the initiative and do it for them. Add up God’s Law and Prophets and this is what you get.”
OK, bottom line, be nice to each other, why don’tcha?