Sticking with You: part 1

            Friendships are a huge part of our lives as humans, and have a special flavor for those of us who are Christians.  One definition of friendship is: “I pour in to you, and you pour back in to me.”  Like a game of tennis, we serve love, the other player hits it back, we return the ball, and on and on it goes.  It’s easy to love those who love you back.  To put it another way: it’s easy to play tennis with someone else who really wants to play, someone who “gets into the game”.

But what happens when you serve the ball, and nothing happens? Time after time your initiate something (a serve), but the other player doesn’t return the ball? You keep pulling more and more balls from your bucket, send them on to the other side, and the other player simply piles the balls in the corner.  It’s hard, isn’t it?  Not exactly the kind of friendship we like to have.  And yet, I bet that everyone who reads this has experienced at least one relationship that felt as lopsided as playing tennis with a gerbil.

What do we do in such a situation?

Well, my first instinct is to get mad, to be hurt, and to glare at the other player.  If they don’t pick up their game, I am also tempted to throw down my racquet and storm out of the court.  “Tennis is a two-person game. If you don’t want to play, then neither do I.”

You ever catch yourself saying that? “Friendship is a two-person game”.  The other morning I was talking to God about certain situations in my life, and I sighed “Lord, this whole friendship thing is supposed to be two-sided.  I can’t give and give and give, when all they do it take and take and take.  I just….I can’t….it’s tough….I don’t know….”  Sound familiar to any of you?

Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrated His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Jesus knows all about those “one-sided” tennis matches.

While we were yet rejecting Him, He redeemed us.

How He must hurt, when we take and take and take of His grace, without so much as a “thank you, Jesus”. 

Turns out, this whole issue of “my friends aren’t playing tennis like I want them to” is a lot more complex than I thought.

Your heart says, “They hurt you, so spurn them. Show them how much they hurt you.”

Self-help books advise, “To be happy, seek only friends who make you feel really good.”

The world whispers, “Give up on those crummy excuses for friends.”

Jesus says, “Put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.” (Colossians 3: 14)

(To be continued)

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Published in: on March 2, 2009 at 8:41 am  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Just dropping by.Btw, you website have great content!

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  2. Very good post kiddo! Unconditional love….

  3. The problem is……some of us can’t even play tennis.
    We better take some lessons from the Master!


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