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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Companionable grace

The wise choose their companions very carefully. It isn't because they are snobbish or unfriendly, but because they know how important it is to travel with the right companions through this life. I often told my children their choice of companions in this life determined their course and whenever they chose to ignore this advice they usually came home with wounded emotions, disappointed  dreams, or the impression they had been used in the relationship. As God knew before he made each of us, there would be those who were going to steer us wrong and those who would help us to grow in his grace, he also cared enough to give us the internal wisdom to choose the best relationships which had the potential to help us grow if we would listen to his advice on who they might be in our life.

Become wise by walking with the wise; hang out with fools and watch your life fall to pieces. Disaster entraps sinners, but God-loyal people get a good life.  (Proverbs 13:20-21 MSG)

A companion employs the gift of helpfulness in our lives. In this sense, they are a perfect match for something we need in life. In the most perfect sense, they are "mates". In other words, as one we stand incomplete, but together we complete what is missing when standing alone. Walk with only one shoe on and you are imbalanced. Wear both and you are not only balanced, but you have a freedom of movement you did not have otherwise.

One of the things a good friendship helps us with is the right form of judgment in our lives. It isn't that they judge us, but they actually help us with the power of right or good judgment that they exhibit in life. Their input into our lives isn't meant to criticize our choices, but to give us perspective we don't see on our own. There is a genuineness in this sharing because there is no reservation to share truth. In essence, truthfulness and good judgment is the hallmark of our exchanges in this thing we come to count on from each other.

It may be the combined outcome of these traits which draws us to these relationships,simply because they help us each feel respected and valued for what it is we contribute in this exchange we call companionship or friendship. God wanted us to be free to share this depth of commitment to each other as we learn to walk this close to him. The right companions will draw us out of ourselves, helping us to focus on him more and more, then give away the grace we gain in this relationship. A hallmark of the best relationships is grace...beginning with the grace we receive in Christ, then the grace we gain from each other in companionable growth together. Let us grow in grace and then learn to use that grace to draw others into companionable relationships with those who will help them to grow in grace, as well. Just sharin!