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FRIENDSHIP LIKE THAT OF CHRIST.pdf

FRIENDSHIP LIKE THAT OF CHRIST.pdf

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Published by glennpease
BY J. R. MILLER



SAINT PAUL has given us
many lessons in friendship.
He himself had a genius
for friendship, and no one
can study him in his rela-
__ tion to his friends without

finding much that is beautiful enough to be
followed. In one of his epistles, for example,
he reveals the nature of his wishes for his
friends in a very striking sentence. He writes
that he longs to see them, that he may impart
unto them some spiritual gift.
BY J. R. MILLER



SAINT PAUL has given us
many lessons in friendship.
He himself had a genius
for friendship, and no one
can study him in his rela-
__ tion to his friends without

finding much that is beautiful enough to be
followed. In one of his epistles, for example,
he reveals the nature of his wishes for his
friends in a very striking sentence. He writes
that he longs to see them, that he may impart
unto them some spiritual gift.

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Published by: glennpease on Nov 05, 2013
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FRIENDSHIP LIKE THAT OF CHRISTBY J. R. MILLER SAINT PAUL has given usmany lessons in friendship.He himself had a geniusfor friendship, and no onecan study him in his rela- __ tion to his friends withoutfinding much that is beautiful enough to befollowed. In one of his epistles, for example,he reveals the nature of his wishes for hisfriends in a very striking sentence. He writesthat he longs to see them, that he may impartunto them some spiritual gift.One suggestion from the character of thislonging is that the truest Christian friendshipdesires, not to receive, but to give. Saint Paulwished to see his friends, not to be refreshed,encouraged, and strengthened himself, bytheir love, but that he might impart gifts of enriching to them. Always the attitude of true friendship is the same — the longing to do[ 239 ]Ci^e JLejSjson of toUsomething for our friend, to be of use to him,to be of help to him, rather than the desire toget something from him, to be helped by him.This is put well in Dr. Babcock's little morn-ing prayer :
 
O Lord, I prayThat for this day1 may not swerveBy foot or handFrom thy command,Not to be served, hut to serve.This too I prayThat for this dayNo love of easeNor pride preventMy good intent,Not to be pleased, but to please.And if I may ,rd have this day/Strength from above,To set my heartIn heavenly art,Not to be loved, but to love.Another suggestion from Saint Paul's long-ing is that the very heart of true Christian[240]friendship is helpfulness. We begin to be likeChrist only when we begin to desire to doothers good. The world's ideal is, "Every man
 
for himself," but Christ set a new standardfor his followers. We are to look upon every-one we meet with the question in our hearts,"What can I do for this man.^^ How can Iserve him.? In what way can I do him good,help him, comfort him, strengthen him.?" Weare always to hold ourselves ready to show thekindness of love to every human being thatcrosses our path. He may not need us — ^butthen he may, — and if he does we must not failto give him the help he needs.We do not know how many of those whom wemeet any day do need us. There may be noneof the great crying needs which kindle com-passion in all human breasts. We may go foryears and come upon no one lying wounded bythe wayside. But there are needs just as realas these, and perhaps quite as tragic. Thereare hearts that are discouraged, needing cheer,that they faint not. There are people whoare tempted, wavering, and ready to fall.[241 ]Ci^e iLejijson of noteThere are those who are carrying a burdenof sorrow, crying out for comfort. There arethose who are hungry for love.There always are opportunities for helping,and the world needs nothing more than menand women who are ready to respond to eachcall for love's gentle ministry. A pleasantstory is told of Wendell Phillips, the greatorator. He was passionately devoted to hisinvalid wife. One night after he had delivereda lecture in a suburban town, his friends urged

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