Words With Friends

6346894242_974c79d73b_b

It’s good to have friends.

Especially on those days when the rest of the world seems to be giving you a hard time.

It’s good to know you have those few rare people in the world you can lean on, and tell anything too.

Except when you can’t.

Friends are people too, after all, and that means you never know…

You might say that rare sentence that triggers your friend’s ire.

Or you might lean a little too hard, expecting support past the breaking point.

Or they might catch you cheating at Word’s With Friends.

Or you might say something critical of your friend, not expecting to get a rise out of them.

But you do.  And suddenly you’re having words with your friend.

Now some friendships are built on these kind of discussions, folks used to scrapping it up with each other.

Others, though, find themselves in unfamiliar waters, risking real damage to the friendship.

If you find yourself in a fight with your friend, here’s what you can do:

  1.  Have faith that all will be well!  Remember Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego?  These three friends found themselves facing truly dire circumstances, but their faith kept them okay.
  2. Misery loves company.  Psalms like 41, 55, and 88 speak about the pain of being rejected by a friend, but Proverbs 17:17 says, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.”
  3. Jesus was a friend to tax collectors and sinners.  Surely you and your friend can put up with each other.
  4. You may not like each other right now, but don’t forget that you  love each other.  1 John 4:11 says “Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
  5. And if none of that works, remember Matthew 6:15:  “But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

Yikes!

Friends are special and rare and not to be taken for granted.

So when the time comes that you find yourself having words with your friends, swallow your pride, remember what’s most important, and hold on tight.

(Wanna be friends?  My Words With Friends name is Toddmit)

Have a good week,

Mitch

imagesGWE7LL5W

 

 

Duel-istic


It started last week.

I was standing in the produce aisle, inspecting peaches.   An employee standing next to me was humming along with the music from the speakers.  Absent-mindedly she said, “I just love Kenny G”.   I chuckled and said, “To be honest, I’ve never liked him.”

Almost immediately, she turned and glared at me.   She took off one of her latex gloves, and slapped me across the face with it.

“Choose your weapon,” she growled at me.   I sized her up briefly, looked at the pricing gun in her hand, and then bolted for the exit.

Two days later I was talking with somebody at the ballgame.   He said he hated the designated hitter rule.   I told him I thought it made the game more exciting.   Wham!  He slapped me across the face, whispered “Pistols at dawn”, and turned and left.  I’ve decided to start rooting for a different team.  Just to be safe.

What is going on?  I’ve been invited to four duels in the past three days!   I told someone I voted for Obama, and she pulled a sword!  I mentioned to someone else that I was against Capital Punishment and before I knew it we were arm wrestling.

Has the world gone mad?  It’s as if anyone who has an opinion contrary to yours is suddenly an enemy!  This sort of all or nothing thinking is dangerous…and contagious.

I’m worried.  This morning a parishioner told me they hated the Harry Potter books.  It took three people to hold me down!

It’s been shown time and again that dualism can lead to duel-ism.   Remember Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton?  They took their political frustrations out with firearms! While I don’t see that kind of violence on C-SPAN, who could deny the divisive, violent undertones in modern political rhetoric and legislative debate?

Come to think of it, Draco Malfoy and Harry Potter came to “magical” blows during a dueling lesson at Hogwarts.  It’s true, the Slytherins and the Griffindors seem to be at odds much of the time.

What about you?  How do you respond if someone picks the other side of an issue you’re passionate about?  Do you rush in to argue? Do you challenge your “opponent” to a battle of who is superior?  Do you feel compelled to fight for what you think is right?  Hmm. But what if the fighting part is what’s wrong?

Here’s some advice from the writer of Timothy:

Have nothing to do with stupid and senseless controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kindly to everyone, an apt teacher, patient, correcting opponents with gentleness.  –2 Timothy 2:23-25

This doesn’t mean you’re can’t choose to like (or not like ) Kenny G.   It doesn’t mean you can’t choose to approve (or disapprove) of some elected official.   It doesn’t even mean you can’t state your opinion, make your case, and try to share some of your accumulated wisdom in conversation with somebody who disagrees.

But the next time you feel like it’s time to take the gloves off…

Think twice before getting Slap Happy.

Have a Great Week,

Mitch