Pastor John’s message last weekend, He Stood by Me and Strengthened Me for the Sake of the Gospel, included some very personal reflections on his own sorrows in ministry. He followed it up with a blog post yesterday, More Thoughts on Friends Who Fail You.
We all fail; the number of people I’ve failed is too high to count. But I feel even more acutely ashamed of the times I intentionally tried to hurt people – people often trying to do me good – for their failures: using the wrong words for a disability; suggesting the wrong therapy; not ‘getting it.’ And because it involves disability, the culture gives us the ‘right’ to find offense wherever we look. I’ve touched that topic before here and here.
So the message and the blog posting were good words for me as we live this unusual life of disability in this hostile culture with people who fail and who I fail. Especially the closing to the blog post:
We look to Jesus not only because he was the great model of holding onto friends who let him down, but also because he died and rose again to be the joyful bond of broken and restored friendships.
So keep Jesus before your eyes, and pray this into your heart: “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends” (1 Corinthians 13:7–8).
Whatever you do, don’t let the failure of your Christian friends become the basis for abandoning the one Friend who never fails.