Friendships

He who withholds kindness from a friend forsakes the fear of the Almighty. ESV Job 6:14

Job is fast becoming one of my favorite books of the Bible (Ecclesiastes stands as my favorite at the moment). I love Job not because of the trials he endured (God knows I’m generally incredibly blessed), but because of the amazing wisdom contained in Job, Elihu and God’s answers. Every time I read or listen to the book more great jewels jump out at me, and this time is no exception.

While I’m an extrovert by nature, I don’t keep many close friends. As part of my spiritual formation, God continues to impress upon me the importance of developing and keeping good friends. Part of keeping strong friendships involves showing kindness to our friends. More interesting than the call to show kindness is the warning that withholding kindness means we have forsaken the fear of the Almighty. Apparently it’s impossible to fear God and not show kindness. I love this because so often we wrestle with how to be more Godly, how to do good, how to grow spiritually. If we fear God, we will naturally respond toward others in Godly ways. If we fear God, we will naturally show kindness to our friends. I have a friend now to whom I need to show kindness. I’ve been wrestling with it, but as I think about God and His love toward me, it draws my heart toward my friend, calling me to show greater kindness.

Are you showing kindness to your friends? It may take on many different forms–a listening ear, an encouraging note, forgiveness, giving the benefit of the doubt. May we embrace the fear of the Almighty and show kindness at every opportunity.

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