Should I remain silent while you babble on? When you mock God, shouldn’t someone make you ashamed? (New Living Translation )
Are your friends real or counterfeit?
The FBI trains their agents to spot counterfeit money by looking at it and touching it. God can train you to do the same things with those you interact with. You rely on the Holy Spirit and use discernment.
The word friend is used so loosely, you need clarity when you talk. For the sake of this devotional, the word “friend” refers to the people you allow into your inner circle; those you share your life with; those who help you make tough decisions; and those who can speak into your heart, especially when you’re feeling low.
With that understanding, you need a friend who will tell you when you’re wrong, remind you “what” you believe, “Who” you believe in, and “Who” you belong to.
|Real Friends||Counterfeit Friends|
|Keep you from making the mistake of accusing God, blaming God, or making your situation about what God has not done.||Commiserate with you, tell you God is mad at you, and fail to lead you into the presence of God.|
|Help you realize your circumstances are really about what God is trying to do in, with and through you.||Help you identify how and why you have been mistreated, who mistreated you and what you should do about it.|
|Require that you remember God is in control, and He loves you.||Tell you to take control of your own situation and do what needs to be done.|
Job 2:9-10 Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? [c]Curse God and die!” 10 But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips. (NKJV)
Job 42:7–9 And so it was, after the Lord had spoken these words to Job, that the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “My wrath is aroused against you and your two friends, for you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has. (NKJV)
The real friends will cause you to stop, look and listen even if they make you mad. Remember that is your job in someone else’s life, just like it is theirs in your life. The greatest friendship you ever want is identified in James 2:23.
James 2:23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and this [faith] was credited to him [by God] as righteousness and as conformity to His will,” and he was called the friend of God. (AMP)
If you can be a friend of God, you will have no problem being a friend to anyone else.
Please agree with me as I pray:
Father, I thank You for surrounding me with friends who love You more than they love me. Those who care enough about me to tell me when I am wrong. I thank You for putting people in my life who are concerned about my spiritual growth; so they identify my missteps in actions, conversation, and in attitude. Without those people, I know I would prolong the training I’m currently in. Thank You for the people You placed in my path, who love me enough to show me You no matter what I am going through. Whether I am in the midst of my problems, rejoicing over something great that has happened, or when I am crying over a mistake, I have made. They help me wipe my tears regardless of their origin, and especially when I am wrong. Thank you for helping me to develop the kind of character where I can be a friend to You and to others. I want to rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep, always pointing then to You…