Friendly like a knife

An hour and a half.

He yelled at me for an hour and a half.

And hung his head in disappointment.

And sighed the long breath of a heavy heart.

And he loved me with all of his soul.

This evening a dear friend took the time to call me out on some things. Lots of things, none of which will I go into here. Suffice to say he yelled at me about my deep and abiding lack of faith, or at least belief that God is and has been directing my life. That is to say, the lack of faith that God has anything particularly good in store for my immediate situation, experience of life or future plans.

So this friend kicked my ass, (metaphorically, since scientists still haven’t perfected human teleportation, or even robotic avatars) and I felt pretty low. He was disappointed in me and he was right to be so.

I was disappointed in me.

He shared God’s word with me, and like a good Christian, I quickly responded with repentance, cried and swore to change my ways I denied it, avoided the subject and ended the conversation as soon as possible.

One of the Proverbs, the wisdom sayings of the Bible, says:

Faithful are the wounds of a friend;
profuse are the kisses of an enemy.

Proverbs 27:6

And I suppose I ought to believe he was showing a kindness to me. In reality, however, I am angry and annoyed and regretful of that conversation. For all the talk in many churches, and Christian circles about really challenging one another and enjoying fellowship in truth, I for one would far rather remain hidden. I enjoy living an unexamined life.

It’s far easier that way.

Let’s all do each other a favour and stop caring. It’s better. I promise.

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12 Comments

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  1. Bro i hope the last few parts are dripping with sarcasm. you are blessed beyond belief that you have a mate who cares about you so deeply to stick with you for an hour and a half and tear you up. Most mates wouldn’t hang around for 5 mins and tell you to go to hell. the fact that he says something shows he cares about you a lot! I hope your heart soften to the care of a Brother and that God gives you wisdom in this situation. Go with God mate and know you have lads that care for you! it is easier to be a vapor in the wind, unnoticeable, but why not be a Sun, a powerful light in the darkness.

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  2. Actually as a Christian you don’t have the luxury of choice – the last choice you made was to make Jesus your Lord – you freely and willingly gave up your right to have a choice – if you haven’t yet done that then you haven’t made Jesus your Lord – it’s that simple. Not that this is to sound despondent. HALLELUJAH that we can serve him in love and grateful thanks for all he’s done for us. Sometimes our flesh tries to interfere – but then we just train our soul to get in line with our spirit not our flesh. Read Ephesians 1 and see what you already have – that should keep you praising for a while. I am with your friend and Ricky – AMEN that you have such a faithful friend.
    xxx

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  3. I meant to say this when I first read this blog post, but forgot.

    It ocurred to me that it sounds as though your friend was relying on your faith to prop up his own – that in essence, your feelings were being held hostage to the demands of his (with some convenient verse to back him up, no doubt).

    I say this because I can’t imagine what could be so disappointing in yourself as a Christian. part of that is my inability to sympathise with certain dogma, and another is the vagueness of the post.

    Hello Beverly, I’m surprised that your solution is to embrace a state comparable to automata. Should I be?

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    • Ben: You raise a fair point, however you might have missed some of the implications of the Christian faith for the believer.

      My ethical framework is, in many ways, an exchange. That is to say it is the willing and conscious surrender of positing my own preferences and desires as the measure of acceptable moral decisions and actions. Many people do this all the time, and perhaps not doing as such would brand one a sociopath. However for the Christian the surrender of positing the self’s preferences as acceptable norms becomes an obligation to God.

      It is with God that the exchange occurs. The Christian finds herself resting in the ethical context defined by God’s action in history; Ultimately in Jesus of Nazareth and subsequently in the life and tradition of the Church.

      The Christian, therefore, would experience disappointment when she calls to mind or is confronted with that historic action of God in the world and through his Church. I do not know the inner workings of my friend’s heart, but I do know that in my understanding of what God expects and desires of my actions and words, I have let him down.

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      • Ian my friend – we all let God down – can I persuade you to get over it – and get over yourself – that we let Him down isn’t a problem for God – while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. That’s the wonderful thing about Grace – it isn’t about US it’s about HIM. Can I persuade you to stop pondering on your own naval and ponder on God’s amazing love instead – find reasons to praise and thank God – The secret to a God centred and God filled life is to be dead to self.

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      • I take issue with such a glib assessment as “just get over it.” I see that as a cheap grace. That is to say, it does not do justice to the cosmic wounds of our human experience of sin, cosmic wounds in Christ’s own body.

        My point in writing is to explore my experience of being human, and I find this humanity in Jesus and in my encounter with him as well as my encounters with other humans. Part of my experience is tragically marred by the fall, in how others treat me and how I treat others.

        So I seek to reconcile this experience to Jesus Christ, and seek to find his miraculous new life in the death which I labour for every day (Romans 6:23).

        It would be improper for me to ignore it, or get over it, without truly digesting the experience as I believe there is a vast treasure of grace to be found in such wounds.

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      • If that’s the way you feel, then that’s not for me to try to pick at, I guess.
        I still venture that while you may have let yourself down in your eyes, there’s no reason to be beholden to someone else’s if (as it still appears to me) it was more about them than you.

        I’m probably wrong, as I don’t know your friend/wasn’t there/other disclaimer which annuls my comments in the likelihood of my being completely wrong on that score.

        🙂

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      • Whether I have let myself down in my own eyes or not does not changed whether I have let God down, to use a rather crude phrase.

        When I mention Gods revelation in the life of the church, it is encounters such as the one of which I have written to which I refer. In the act of being called out, I am face to face with God.

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  4. Sorry Ben – not sure what you are saying – I presume you do things for your wife (if you are married) just because you love her and don’t consider yourself to be a robot? I do things for Jesus because of my love for him – which grows daily as I contemplate his amazing and awesome and much demonstrated love for me. I have absolute free will – out of my absolute free will – I choose to do His Will – and life is wonderful as a result.

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  5. Bloody hell my spelling’s all over the place today. Occurred, alright? Occurred.
    Meh.

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  6. Beverly: If that’s what you mean, then my question was of course misplaced. It was just some of the language you used about flesh and before that about choice that wrongfooted me.

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  7. Thank you Ben. Try this for a useful explanation of the “flesh” thing http://us1.campaign-archive1.com/?u=02e97ce2b8777d1b57103a1b4&id=ce334ab061

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