As we grow we learn, and as we learn we grow. The two are intertwined and cannot be separated. The absence of one, or both, causes stagnation. You may be thinking “but some people grow but aren’t learning”, truth is they ARE learning, they are just not applying what they’ve learned.
A while ago I blogged about the different kinds of friends that we have, and this is in some sense a follow on to that blog ( https://fatmohnscoop.wordpress.com/2010/07/08/its-raining-friends/ ).
We’ve all got a friend (or a few friends) who frustrate us. Who always seem to be doing “dumb” things, or taking steps that we wouldn’t necessarily agree with or condone, or even class as wisdom in the slightest. We’ve all got that friend who seems to constantly come to you for advice on the same (or similar) issues and no matter how much you advise them, it seems like you always have the same conversation over the years. No doubt, this is frustrating – sometimes to the point that we distance ourselves from the person.
Sometimes, and I mean sometimes, this is good. But what if you were the person who was supposed to love that friend out of their “folly”? What if God put you in their life to teach you patience and perseverance and tenacity and them, love and care?
I’m all for removing unnecessary stress in your life, but at the expense of someone’s growth…? Never.
Yes there are times for tough love, and learning by separation, but when we make a habit of it, when you find MOST people frustrate you, so you cut MOST people out of your life, I’d admonish you to think again.
Yes, there are seasonal friendships, but are the majority of your friendships seasonal?
Does the “season” that ends your friendships always seem to be one of great frustration?
Can you look back 2 years, even 3 and name a friend that you’ve had the WHOLE time?
The key here is not to disregard such friendships but to recognise what they are. They may be seasonal relationships. They may be mentor/mentee relationships. They may be agony aunt relationships. They probably are ones that God has specifically set up to help both of you develop the Fruit of the Spirit.
If care is not taken, the dismissed is left confused, and hurt, and the dismisser will loose out on some lessons – both end in stifled growth.
Fruit of the Spirit: Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance (Gal. 5:22-23)
Love is: patient, kind, suffers long, does not envy, not proud, not rude, not provoked, does not think evil (mischievous), does not rejoice in sin but truth, bears all, believes all, hopes all, endures all, never fails! (1 Cor. 13)
Just pray, let the Holy Spirit lead you.
I’ve got a few apologies to make, and I’ll end this blog on this note.
Love you all very dearly.
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