By Effie Rolfe, Chicago Crusader
A true friend is like a book. While the outside may be okay or not, you really don’t get the full benefit until you turn the pages and get deep into the chapters. Unfortunately, too many people never get a chance to experience the real person because we never get past the surface. While I thank God for friends, I know that God is the ultimate true friend who looks past our cover into the inner heart (1 Samuel 16:7). If God only looked on the outward appearance, some of us would never have a remote chance in life. We should be so grateful that Christ is the perfect friend that embodies unconditional love extending far beyond the superficial into a lifelong relationship. My former pastor used to always say ‘that friends come to bless your life—correct and protect your life.’ These persons you have attracted into your inner circle and whom God has strategically given you are there for a reason, season or a lifetime. It’s important to remember that in order to have a great friend you must first show yourself friendly (Proverbs 18:24). So while they are in your life—it’s equally important to honor your friends, as they should honor you.
A favorite adage states to ‘never look down on someone unless you are picking them up.’ The moment you look down on other people, pride is in full effect. It’s senseless to look down on folk, backstab or walk over people because ultimately whatever you release to the universe will find its way back to you in a boomerang effect. While I may not be a close friend—it’s ok to be friendly even if at a distance. Uncertainty is a dominant presence in life and in a moment’s notice good fortune can be snatched away into oblivion. That job of 20 years can vanish months before retirement, a tsunami of setbacks might require use of the cash saved for a rainy day and life can be upside down. Let’s make a habit of being kind to others, warm, rendering a smile and whispering a silent prayer. It doesn’t cost you a thing but it returns great dividends.
The bottom line is it’s good to have some compassion. At some point you’re gonna’ need somebody ‘to look beyond your faults and see your needs.’ During your life’s journey, it’s important to have true friendship that transcends the cover. Before passing any judgment or holding a microscope, the Williams Brothers song reminds us to Sweep Around Your Own Front Door before you sweep around mine. You might recall Jim Baker and how Jimmy Swaggart went public to criticize him. A few months later, Swaggart was also in a scandal after confessing to being in a hotel room with a prostitute. Unfortunately, the church was not so forgiving and he ultimately fell from grace. He’s never fully recovered from the scandal—reports indicate before his fall from grace, the tele-evangelist received donations of $500,000 a day. This example is not to criticize or rehash the past, but to serve as a reminder that the natural eye may never see the secrets of the heart. Which one of us doesn’t want God’s gentleness—so be gentle to others? I have to constantly remind myself to give the grace and mercy toward others that I so desperately desire. At all costs, it makes so much more sense and everybody benefits.
Have you honored your friendship today…?
©Effie Rolfe is an Author of “Supersize Your Thinking,” Media Per- sonality and Motivational Speaker. You can contact her at effierolfe.com or on twitter.com/effiedrolfe. Listen to her show on urbanpraiseradio.org (2015 Stellar Award Internet Station of the Year).