I’m not talking about your efforts or energies or potential. I mean you — literally and physically. And me. We (physically) can only go so far…so why do we insist on stretching ourselves like we are Mrs. Incredible?
Here’s a popular verse to ponder…Proverbs 18:24. We tend to use it for one thing, but the meaning is quite different. We will look at it in several versions.
Some “friends” pretend to be friends, but a true friend sticks closer than a brother (CJB).
A man of too many friends comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother (NASB).
The man of many friends [a friend of all the world] will prove himself a bad friend, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother (AMP).
A man that hath friends must show himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother (KJV).
After you read the first three renderings, the KJV reads in context. In essence, the scripture gives a guarantee — when we split ourselves among everyone, then no one gets the best of us. (ouch!)
Just a thought to ponder, and prayerfully a revival of referencing this verse in its proper context. It’s common sense really…and now we can search and circumcise our hearts when we realize we’ve been a bad friend when our attentions were too divided.
This verse is a statement of contrast; there is a friend or a true friend sticks closer than a blood sibling (See Psalm 118:8-9). So there it is…literally, we cannot be friends with everybody. If we endeavor to live on that level of intensity, then ours becomes a reality of excuses and broken promises.
Part of greatness is understanding our individual limits. As a recovering perfectionist, I share with you what my mother told me in grade school that eased anxiety (eventually) and put me at ease…now it’s part of me.
My pastor said something wonderful recently, and I want to share that too. He said, “God consistently builds greatness out of limitations.” Isn’t that good? Knowing how far we can go, understanding that Mrs. Incredible is just a cartoon…that helps us to yield to the boundaries of our reign. It helps us to — here’s a reminder phrase — stay seated.
Let’s allow this to stir around in our minds and challenge some clichés and half-truths we may have accepted over time. When we feel the pressure rising to be and do beyond our boundaries, then remember the power of relationship and the blessing of being able to give our best.
Selah, and love to all.
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