A Gate Called Beautiful
The Company You Keep
Don't fool yourselves. Bad friends will destroy you. - 1 Corinthians 15:33 CEV
One of the most difficult things you will experience in this life, is the abandonment by people you once considered friends. When you are going through a hardship, not everyone who says they care about and support you will stand with you during your most trying times. People you laughed with, spent time with, worked with and cared about will disappear when you need them the most.
The quality of our relationships is determined by the character of the people we allow to have access to us. Keep an eye on the Judas Iscariot’s in your life. You can identify them through their actions because every Judas will steal from you, eat with you and intimately embrace you.
Judas did not really care about the poor. He asked this because he carried the moneybag and sometimes would steal from it. – John 12:6 CEV
Judas was the treasurer amongst the disciples, meaning he oversaw valuable things. Be mindful of those who want to oversee the valuable things in your life: your time, thoughts and love. You cannot trust and confide in everyone. Some people want to get close to you just to steal from you - they steal your joy, peace and happiness. See who is stealing your most valuable resources and ask yourself if they are there for you or if they are there for what they can take from you.
So [Peter] leaned back against Jesus and asked him, “Lord, who is it?”
Jesus replied, “He’s the one I give the piece of bread to after I have dipped it.” When he had dipped the bread, he gave it to Judas, Simon Iscariot’s son. After Judas ate the piece of bread, Satan entered him. So, Jesus told him, “What you’re doing, do quickly.” – John 13:25 - 27 CEV
Who have you invited into your life that eats your food but never brings a dish? Or to put it another way, who have you invested into who hasn’t given anything back to you? You can’t invite everyone to sit and enjoy the most intimate parts of your life, especially if they are not contributing to your life in a loving and meaningful way.
Dr. Dharius Daniels; in his book, Relational Intelligence, talks about the importance of reciprocity in relationships. He says that “we will never be able to give back to someone in a relationship exactly what they give to us. But we can give something. Reciprocation is a way to steward relationships. Reciprocation helps us minimize the likelihood of exploitation in relationships. It prevents us from using people and being used.”
Judas had told them ahead of time, "Arrest the man I greet with a kiss." – Matthew 26:48 CEV
Everyone who kisses you, hugs you and shares a bed with you does not love you. It is easy to confuse intimacy with feelings of love and support. Watch for those who view your vulnerability and weakness as a way to use and manipulate you. Your enemies will disguise themselves in empty words, fake smiles and heartless gestures in order to get close to you only to later abandon you after they have gotten what they want from you. Be watchful at all times, praying that you have the strength to identify all the works of those who want to harm you (Luke 21:36).
Most importantly, God will always show you the truth about yourself first, before He show you the truth about someone else. Make sure you are not the Judas in your relationships. Make sure you are not the one stealing, eating and kissing in order to get what you want instead of being a true and supportive friend.
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