Friend of God

Proverbs 3:31-32 

31Do not envy the violent or choose any of their ways. 32For the Lord detests the perverse but takes the upright into his confidence.

“Tell me who your friends are and I tell you who you are!”

“Tell me who your friends are, and I tell you who you are!” Have you heard that statement before? Do you remember who told you? Someone claimed that an elderly told him, “Tell me who your friends are, and I tell you who you are!” The young person thought, “That’s judgmental attitude to say that I behave like my friends.”

“Tell me who your friends are, and I tell you who you are” Does it offend you? Do you welcome it as concern to you? Are you particular of their character when you choose your friends? Do you have close friends, exclusive group or inner circle?

Did you know that our Lord Jesus Christ had inner circle among his apostles?

It says in Matthew 17:1-9, 1Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light.

3Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.

4Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.”

5While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”

6When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. 7But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” 8When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.

9As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, “Don’t tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”

Theologians suggest that Christ had chosen Peter, James and John as his inner circle of friends because he can trust them to keep his transfiguration secret for the time being until he was raised from the dead. Does it mean that he had very little trust with the other disciples? Matthew who was one of the apostles wrote this situation, but he gave no explanation; and he himself was not included in the inner circle of Jesus.

At the last hour of Christ before he was crucified it says in Matthew 26:36-38, 36Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”

Bible students suggested that Christ chose Peter, James and John as his inner circle exclusively because he knew that they can understand and sympathize with him better than the other disciples, when he expressed his emotion, feeling or anguish.

Do you have friends who are loyal and honest with you through thick and thin?

Certainly, God is the only faithful friend we can have. Pray like, “Lord, please give me friends who would be faithful, honest, loyal and upright.” You don’t want individuals who are violent, malicious and oppressive as friends; they are the ones you must avoid.

1.  Avoid

31Do not envy the violent or choose any of their ways.

The term “envy” can be properly interpreted as “desire, prefer or copy.” Envy is a desire of preference and eventually, copy the activity of those you are envious of; and then, you want to join them and become their friends. Envy is human instinct. We envy, desire and prefer the powerful, popular, prosperous, and pretty (4Ps) as friends. If you have 4Ps friends who are not violent, oppressive or malicious, cherish them as friends.

What do you wish to become? To be powerful, popular, prosperous and pretty may not be vocally mentioned, yet even seasoned believers may long to have one, if not all of the 4Ps. Does God oppose  4Ps: powerful, popular, prosperous and pretty?

Most often, believers used any of the 4Ps as practical proof of God’s blessing.

Is it favorable to be powerful, popular, prosperous and pretty when sharing the gospel of Christ? In a paternal society, fathers are head of the family; they decide which religion they follow. Someone observed it that when a father in a paternal society becomes Christian, most probably members of his family follow him in his belief.

Interestingly, Jesus chose ordinary individuals as his apostles, except for Apostle Paul who was a Pharisee. There are powerful, popular, prosperous and pretty pastors who have many followers. We cannot discount the possibility of what God would do, and the Lord Jesus declared in John 10:9-10, 9I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

Is it considered as fullness of life to be powerful, popular, prosperous and pretty?

Of course, the Lord does not oppose such privilege; he advises us to avoid violent individuals and avoid their ways too. What is the guarantee that a powerful, popular, prosperous and pretty person can avoid the malicious violence and oppression?

Have you observed that most reckless and abusive drivers have expensive cars?

King Solomon observed and declared in Ecclesiastes 6:2, 2God gives some people wealth, possessions and honor, so that they lack nothing their hearts desire, but God does not grant them the ability to enjoy them, and strangers enjoy them instead.

When God makes you 4Ps—powerful, popular, prosperous and pretty, make sure you also add the fifth P- prayerful and sixth P- praise. Pray that you may enjoy the good things that God has showered your life and don’t forget to praise him also.

The Lord is a friend of the upright and honest, but he detests, abhors perversion.

2.  Abhor

32For the Lord detests the perverse but takes the upright into his confidence.

What are perverse ways that the Lord abhors, detests, or considers as disgusting? The perverse is mentioned as contrast to the upright that God takes into his confidence. Why? What does it mean when God takes the upright into his confidence? The term “confidence” can be translated as “trust, secret council, intimate friend or inner circle.”

The upright has honesty and integrity, and God trust him with his secrets.

By faith we believe that our sins were crucified with Christ, so that, we become upright before God. The Spirit of wisdom and revelation reveals and helps us practically apply personally the godly secrets to fullness of life. By faith, only upright believers can conceptualize that obedience to God is favorable. Unbelief shows they are deprived.

So, when it says that the Lord detests the perverse, he abhors and considers their lifestyle as disgusting. Anything that destroys intimacy of friendship like, dishonesty, cannot keep secret or gossipers are perversion to the Lord. Certainly, you won’t confide your deepest secret to anybody whom you cannot trust, right?

Online Banking

Everyone has a secret that should not be given to anybody, except to the person you can trust. These days, online banking offers convenience to anybody who is able and competent. Fraudster and scammers have explored many unsuspicious ways to access on private accounts. It is advisable not to give bank account details to anyone.

Do you trust and readily give your username and password of your bank account to anybody else? Internet age is a generation of testing honesty and integrity of friends.

The friend you can trust with the details of your bank account can be the person you can confide with without any hesitations and doubts. There are other life realities and secrets that people want to keep until they die. Christ declares in John 15:13-16 .. 13Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14You are my friends if you do what I command. 15I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.

Christ showed his great love when he died for us. What he learned from God, he reveals to friends he loves. So, who are considered friends of Christ? Are you his friend? He said that, “We are friends he chose and appointed to bear fruits that will last.”

><((‘> .. ><((‘> … ><(((“> tmec\2022 <“)))>< …  <‘))>< .. <‘))><

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