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You and I have met people who are curt and abrasive with their words that leave people wounded and hurt after a simple conversation.

On the other hand, we also have been with people who is all grace that it has become mere tolerance of sin. And THAT is  not biblical grace.

I recently was talking to a young person from church who had a bad experience. She looked up to this person because of her admirable leadership qualities. But with her strength came certain weaknesses. She was quick to cut conversations and swift to make conclusions. Most of the time, she was actually right. But the way it was done was offensive.

Many times, it is not what is being said but how it is said.

The other extreme is to merely listen and remain silent to the point of tolerance. I met with someone with a similar experience. His friend was clearly in sin. But since he wanted to stay connected with his friend, he didn’t want to say anything. It was borderline tolerance and condoning.

The Bible says that “wounds from a friend are better than kisses from an enemy.” (Proverbs 27:6)

Paul says in Colossians 4:6,Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” 

May  know when to speak and when to listen, what to say and how to say it, and be a friend rather than an observer for open rebuke is better than hidden love.

PRAYER:

Lord, remind me that I have been given two ears and one mouth so that I may listen more and speak less. And when I speak, may I speak with truth combined with grace. You came, Word made flesh, dwelt among us full of grace and truth. May we live life as well filled with grace and truth. In Jesus name. Amen.

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PHOTO CREDIT: https://www.flickr.com/photos/manuel_atienzar/

Technology has been a real blessing.
It has helped us find directions easier, access news in a snap, connect with someone across the planet in a few seconds, Facetime with a loved one you’ve never seen in a long time.

At the same breath, it has caused us to stay glued in front of a screen, whether the mobile phone or your tablet.

Psalm 90:12 says, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”

Technology is neutral. It’s how we use it that makes it either a blessing or otherwise.

Watch this short video. It is indeed a good reminder to “look up” and appreciate who and what you have right in front of you.

With all the opportunities to connect, there’s no way you can’t find a friend. Social networks have made it easy to do so.

Star Pulse news dubs her has the person who has the most “friends”. She has over 60M friends.

 

But while you and I can make lots of online connections, the depth and authenticity of these relationships will definitely have its misgivings.

We are all in search for authentic relationships. Some of us have been burned by inauthentic ones and desire genuine friendships.

The good news is that it is absolutely possible.

King Solomon in Ecclesiastes 4 gives us his perspective on friendships. He was a man who enjoyed wealth, pleasure and wisdom. And at the end of his life, he calls the pursuit of these ultimately is meaningless.

He adds friendlessness in the list.

Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. 10 If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. 11 Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? 12 A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.

My thoughts…

1. Authentic friendships seek to contribute and not merely consume.

While there are definitely benefits to having friends and people to journey life with, trying to get something from the friendship and not add value to the other ultimately gets draining.

2. Authentic friendships help without expecting anything in return.

Living in a consumer society has trained us to ask WIIFM (what’s in it for me?). Authentic friendships seek to help without expecting anything in return.

3. Authentic friendships fan the flame of faith.

It’s hard enough to journey through life because the challenges it brings and doubly difficult to do it alone. There is a devil out there wanting to pull every Christ follower down. Do you have people who speak into your life and ask you the hard questions?

4. Authentic friendships protect even if it means sacrificing personal convenience.

“Why don’t people ask us about our hope? The answer is probably that we look as if we hope in the same things they do. Our lives don’t look like they are on the Calvary road, stripped down for sacrificial love, serving others with the sweet assurance that we don’t need to be rewarded in this life.” (John Piper)

I’ve often said that I’ve never met anyone who has ever rejected prayer.

I still stand by that statement.  I’ve seen people, during the lowest of lows, cry out to God in desperation wherein a couple of weeks before that, spirituality was nowhere to be observed.

Here’s a testimony of a college student who messaged me and shared her experience…

pastor, i’m always praying for this girl na ma-reach out. i never fail to invite her sa touch point youth service. classmate ko po sya. then immersion came. dun na po sya nag-birthday. syempre po, wala yung family nya. morning pa lang, i was planning how to approach her and tell her that i wanna pray for her. parang may force na tumutulak sa akin. i was looking for a proper timing kasi busy din kami lahat. evening came and may activity pa kami. i know aabutin pa ng past 12mn bago kami matapos kaya i decided na iapproach na sya. ayoko kasing matapos ang bday nya na hindi ko nagagawa yung thing na alam kong si GOD ang nagsasabing gawin ko.

at first, i really do not know how to start. i said na gusto ko syang ipagpray. medyo natawa pa nga sya sa akin but she accepted my offer.

after my prayer saka ko lang po napansin na umiiyak sya. i know that GOD really touched her heart. she thanked me and we hugged for a couple of minutes…

GOD is really amazing! praise the Lord!…