Tuesday, May 15

Everybody needs one…and keep growing!

Scripture: 1 Chronicles 25-27, 1 Thessalonians 4

1 Chronicles 27:33 Hushai  the Archite was the king’s friend.

1 Thessalonians 4:1 Finally then, brothers, we ask and encourage you in the Lord Jesus, that as you have received from us how you must walk and please God—as you are doing —do so even more.

1 Thessalonians 4:9-10 You are taught by God to love one another.  But we encourage you, brothers, to do so even more.

Observation

1 Chronicles 25-27 is a long list of David’s officials.  Everyone listed has an official capacity: musician, gatekeeper, treasurer, military officer, and so on.  And then this: Hushai was the king’s friend.  Hushai evidently didn’t have an official title or role, but was the king’s friend (and as such, a trusted confidante and advisor).

Twice in 1 Thessalonians 4, Paul urges the Christians to “do so even more.”  He says, “You are living to please God—do so even more.”  And, “You are taught by God to love one another—do so even more.”  

Application

First, everybody needs a friend!  David was surrounded by people who worked for him, but he also needed a friend.  We need people whose friendship is true and not based on our role.

I remember when I hired Rick Noll, over 36 years ago.  Our pastor, Roy Hicks Jr., cautioned me: “Don’t let this job become more important than your friendship.”  We were friends before he took the job; we have been friends for all 36 years he’s been on the job; we will still be friends after he retires next year!  

Contrast that with a person I know who had a prominent role in our denomination, and had many friends.  But when the role went away, so did the friends.  It turned out all those relationships were job-related, not true friendships.

David understood the need of having a true friend—someone who loved him for being him, not for being king.  Everybody needs one! 

Second, Paul’s encouragement to “do so even more” reminds me that we can always grow in virtue, grow in love.  We don’t arrive; we’re always in process.  

Yesterday I caught myself responding to my critics (in my mind) with a kind of snooty superiority.  “I get it, they don’t—what’s wrong with them.”  The Lord convicted me of that, and I realized that I am still in process, and so are they.  I need to keep growing, and I need to be patient with others who are still growing—which is pretty much everyone!  

Prayer: Lord, I’m so grateful for my friends—thank you for my Hushais!  Forgive me for being judgmental when I’m still in process myself!  Help me to keep growing and be patient with others around me.