On Being a Friend
To have a friend, you must be a friend. To be a friend you must show yourself to be friendly. This requires that you step out of that which is convenient and give of yourself. It requires effort, time and faithfulness. Sometimes, it may even require money. But above all, it requires us to be consistent with our loyalty to that friend.
Very much the same thing is required if a person is ever going to HAVE a church and not just GO to a church. You will find that the more you put in, the more you have. The more of yourself you put into the church, the more it is you and the more it is yours. Church is not just where you go when you need a wedding or a funeral. It is something that you give yourself into. (No. I am not talking about money.) If we are ever going to stop being on the outside looking in, we have to do the same kind of things that requires us to have a friend, but do them for the church.
We must BE THERE when our friend (church) needs us. We must be willing to sacrifice for our friend (church) when they have a special need. We need to be strong for our friend (church) when they are going through difficult times. We must be an encourager to our friend (church), especially when it seems like all hell is coming against them. We must always be quick to speak words of encouragement to our friend (church) when they are going through tough times of discouragement. We must not constantly be measuring what our friend (church) gives to us. Instead we should constantly be looking for ways to help make our friend (church) better and stronger. We should be quick to overlook the faults of our friend (church), because we certainly know that we have faults of our own. We need to be constant, consistent and compassionate to our friend (church). We should never be looking to dump our friend (church) just because someone else comes along promising to give us a little more. A friend is always looking for a way to help, and not for a way out. Even the Bible tells us that “A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.” (Proverbs 17:17) When we have done these things, we will discover that in the giving of ourselves, we have received far more than we ever gave. And, we have ended up with a true friend.
Rev. Edward Whitmire is pastor at Pentecostals of Robinson County located in Hearne, Texas