Thursday, 24 January 2008

The protocols of Friendship

Acts 10:34 reads: "Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality."

I understand this to mean that "God is no respecter of persons". But saying that, I do believe God has His favourites! What? I hear you say? Well, I term favourites here to mean those who go the EXTRA mile to really get to know who God really is. Those that take the extra but essential steps have a deep and meaningful relationship with Him. These are people who go through what I call 'The protocols of Friendship'.

Protocols of friendship includes (and more):

  • Being a good friend to others. God invites us all to be his friend, are we willing to be His?
  • Being a good listener. When our friends come to us, do we brush them away saying we have no time, or do we make the time to simply listen? Do we open our hearts to listen to the quiet voice of God within us?
  • Not putting each other down or hurting people's feeling. Striving not to grief the Holy Spirit, to embed ourselves daily, in God's will.
  • Understand the need, feelings and moods of those we call our friends or potential friends. Understanding the mood of God; understanding the need of quiet time, and the pleasure he derives from our worship.
  • Help each other solve problems when we can
  • Always being open, not waiting for the other person to start the build of friendship. Be willing to freely know God, not waiting for something to happen that propels us in His direction.
  • Being respectful to others
  • Trustworthy. Trusting God that He has our best interest at heart, showing to God that he can indeed trust us. Trust is earned.
  • Care about each other

To develop meaningful friendship with our fellow man and with God, it requires the investment of time, resource, sacrifice and commitment! Friendship can be likend to a living thing, an organism. It needs food, nutrients - sustainance to grow and remain healthy. We have to invest; time, money, emotions and much more into the realms of friendship for it to become anything meaningful. The question is: "Are you willing to sacrifice and invest in current and potential friendships"?

To explain further, imagine you are part of a group, a team or a club, maybe about once every so often, you all meet up and catch up on what everyone has been up to. You eat and have a good hang out session for a few hours. You say your goodbyes, never to meet or speak again until the next appointed meeting date.

Now it is safe to say that if you never see these individuals again, until the next appointed date, this friendship will not be a strong, intimate or even trusting one.
It is also safe to say that, for those within the same group or team that take the time out, put in the extra effort to reach out these same individuals, in between the next meeting date - maybe just a phone call here, a cinema trip there, an email here or an invitation to lunch or dinner there, will most definitely have a much stronger bond and a much deeper meaningful relationship with those they have reached out to.

So why is that I hear you ask? This is simply because they have gone the extra mile; they have left their comfort zone of being 'familiar' to actually getting to these individuals personally! They have invested time, money, emotions and much more into the relationship, of which a meaningful friendship is the result. It is safe to say that, they will experience the sort of relationship that most do not have.

"Influence flows from intimacy and access comes from relationships" – Tommy Tenny

This takes me back to my earlier statement, "God is no respecter of persons, but I do believe He does have favourites". From the example above, from afar, it might seem that the people, who went the extra mile, have some individuals within the group as favourites! But this is not the case; I believe they do have a special friendship, simply because they made a deposit, they made an investment.

As with our relationship with God, I believe He has a special place in His heart for all those who have become His children through our Elder brother Jesus Christ; but even amongst these children, there are those who will do whatever it takes, to take the foundation of their relationship with God to a higher level. They make it their goal to know the intricacies of who He is. They will invest their time, money and emotions to build a much deeper and stronger relationship with Him. They will take their time to progress further along the corridor of grace into the very realms of His presence. They will take time to read their Bibles more, pray more (for themselves and others), give more, listen more and strive to live life according to His will, striving to obey the quiet voice of the Holy Spirit. I say "try" and "strive", for it is all by God's grace that we are able and worthy; but try they will all the same.

In the Bible, David is an example of man who strived to build much a deeper and stronger relationship with God, and God acknowledged this in Acts 13:22 "And when He had removed him, He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will."

Meaningful friendship allows intimate access to one another, to God and collectively as a family, joint heirs with Jesus Christ as described in Romans 8:17 "and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together."

We will only be able to have meaningful, close intimate relationships with one nother and ultimately God, if we are willing to embrace the protocols of friendship, to invest what is required, and if we are simply willing to "go that extra mile"

Have a wonderful time shaping out the nature and increasing the richness of your friendships with those around you, and with the Almighty God, whilst making Him famous along the way.

Much Love

Remi Banjo ©January 2008


Jaycee said...

Oh my goodness, tell me u're a Tommy Tenney fan too? Superb....Influence flows from intimacy... True.

"Friendship can be likend to a living thing, an organism. It needs food, nutrients - sustainance to grow and remain healthy. We have to invest; time, money, emotions and much more into the realms of friendship for it to become anything meaningful..."

My summary is that "God doesn't pick favorites, it is US who decide if we want to be His favorites, and anyone can depends on our thirst for Him and intimacy with Him each day as we grow in the relationship, just like every other normal human friendship."

You are a TEACHER. I love the way u break things down. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Well said rems, i really thank God for all my friends, i reaped a lot from my friends last year, and just when i needed it. I plan to sow loads dis yr in time, finances, encouraging, motivating, listening, caring and just being a proper blessing.


Remi, United Kingdom said...

@Jaycee.... Yes oh.. I am a true Tommy Tenney fan oh! I have learnt and grown so much from his books! God is good!
awe thanks re teacher... hey I got the best teacher in the universe and beyond; the Holy Spirit! He is the one who really writes these stuff, cus I read back and I am taught by it, and sometimes cannot remember writing the words!

Yup u are right... we also choose if we decide to be God's favourites... It's all about putting in the work and walking the miles required to have that 'special and personal' relationship with God. It's all about not just being FAMILIAR, but really Knowing Him...
Thanks luv... x much luv