I’ll never forget some advice from a good friend that taught me an invaluable lesson on friendship. I was stressing out about an upcoming trial and so I was talking with him about it. Crushed by the immense weight of my responsibility to obtain justice for my clients, I had prayed, prepared incessantly, and lost a lot of sleep—yet I was still worried.
His words were simple, yet—as priceless as fine gold.
He reminded me that the case wasn’t about me, and to take myself out of the equation and focus on justice for my clients because that’s what they deserve and that’s what knowing God enables me to do. Wow! His advice wasn’t what I expected, like, “Oh, you’ll do fine—you’re a great lawyer,” so I would feel good about myself. He went straight to the heart of the problem—me. It was exactly what I needed to unravel the knots and free me to focus. I was wrapped around the axle—not because I wasn’t prepared, or because I’m not a good lawyer—I was just worried about what I couldn’t control. I needed to let go and give the result to God! What a great friend! He was close enough to God to possess His wisdom; he was not afraid to share it with me—even though it was correction instead of cheerleading; AND, he took the time to do it.
This incident made me think about friendship—both the friends I surround myself with AND the kind of friend I am to others. Proverbs has more than a few verses which speak volumes about good friendships. For example: “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17) “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” (Proverbs 13:20)
Are my closest friends those who are close to God?
Or, are my closest companions those who don’t even believe in God enough to make Him Lord? (The Bible’s definition of a fool.) I am reminded to hold friends like this man close to my heart. I am also reminded to take the time to be the kind of friend who makes others sharper and wiser for the Glory of God! To do this I must be close to God; I must be unafraid to tell the truth in love; and—I must take the time to do it! Being close friends with God gives us everything we need to be a good friend others.
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