Serving in a culture other than our own seems to bring out the worst in us at times. The question of whether God can still use us with all our flaws and foibles can flood our minds in times like these.
Mike Constantine shares God’s Flawed Friends to encourage you where you are today.God’s Flawed Friends
Imagine Almighty God calling you his friend. That is just what he called Abraham:
But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, the offspring of Abraham, my friend; (Isa 41:8, ESV)
Why was Abraham God’s friend? First, because God chose him to be his friend. Second, because he believed God, trusted and obeyed him. Read his story and you will see that he was not a perfect man. At pivotal moments his faith actually failed. Yet God called this rather normal nomad his friend.
Jesus called the disciples his friends, too:
No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. John 15:15, ESV
We know from reading their stories that, like Abraham, there wasn’t a perfect man among them. Yet Jesus tells them that as his friends, he, the great I AM, is entrusting them with a full revelation of his Father’s plan. In this regard they are more than mere servants, though he still calls them servants a little later in this passage. Just as God chose Abraham and entrusted his purposes to him, Jesus calls his disciples his friends and tells them things that mere servants would never be permitted to hear.
So, what does being God’s friend mean to us? It means that he chooses us and can tell us what is on his mind. He does not have to tell us anything, and he certainly doesn’t tell us everything, but isn’t it wonderful to know that God can tell you something? I think so. He does not speak to us beyond what he has already said through the Bible, but he does speak to us within the framework of the full revelation of the Bible. He will do so as long as we obey his commandments and directions. He entrusts to each of his friends just what that friend needs to know to fulfill his or her part in God’s purposes.
Today, friends of God are dispersed throughout the world, walking and talking with their Father and His Son, receiving insight into some part of his plan and purposes, and seeking to follow his directions obediently. There is still not a perfect one among them. They are all flawed friends of God. But these people, these normal, yet extraordinary people, are changing the world through the wisdom of God. And at the end of this world’s day, every one of them will hear God say, “Spend eternity in my house, my friend.”
Flawed friends of a faithful God, wherever you are, you are precious to God. Whatever the size of your work in your own eyes, it matters greatly to your Heavenly Friend. The nations may not know it yet, but they are better today because you are there, sowing, praying, weeping and reaping.
Laughter is good medicine. I thought you might enjoy a dose. The following story was sent in by Jane who is working in Bolivia.
When we first got to Bolivia, we did 6 months Spanish language study at a Catholic Language Institute.
We were paired off in twos. My partner was a New Zealander who was just a year off being a priest. Being Australian, my husband and I made friends with him.
One day, after our ten minute break between classes I was talking to him in English when our Spanish teacher came in and told me to finish my conversation with him in Spanish.
“Cuando vas a venir a mi cama?” I asked him. My teacher roared out laughing and I suddenly realized what I had said (and laughed too. . .more out of embarrassment than anything!) Thankfully my language partner didn’t understand what I had said to him. . .until the teacher told me to explain to him in English what I had said!
What I SHOULD have said was, “Cuando vas a venir a mi casa?” With just one letter wrong, (“m” instead of “s”) I had asked him “When will you come to my bed?” instead of “When will you come to my house?” (for a meal!)
You do have to be SO careful when learning a language.