When I grew up, four of my dad’s siblings lived within a five-mile radius of Grandma’s house. Not only did we live close to each other, but six of us girls were born less than three years apart. Sunday dinners at Grandma’s house were more like a weekly girls’ day out.
We girl cousins have shared memories of creating stories for the imaginary family that inhabited Grandma’s two-story metal doll house with rooms full of furniture.
Reading Sunday comics was another ritual at Grandma’s, after making one’s way through the entry — crowded with a profusion of coleus plants Grandma tended over winter for her summer garden.
One of those cousins and I seemed to hit it off especially well. When we had sleepovers, we’d talk about every possible topic, giggling and whispering late into the night. Sometimes we’d entertain — or torture — our family with piano duets. One summer we even took church organ lessons together.
As we grew up, our lives took us in different directions. Yet we made the effort to keep in touch.
When we’ve had life-changing decisions facing us, that connection and confidence that we genuinely care for each other drew us even closer, trusting that we would find a listening ear and questions we hadn’t thought to ask ourselves.
Paul’s bond with Timothy was not only based on their relationship in Christ, but was like a father-son apprenticeship.
They had been through tough times together. In the midst of suffering, their true character became evident. Paul knew that Timothy was sincere, genuine, and open in his heartfelt compassion for the early church.
Because of this, Paul was confident that Timothy would represent him well. In matters that might come up, Paul trusted that Timothy’s judgment would be in the best interest of the church, without selfish consideration on Timothy’s part.
Relationships like this are a bountiful blessing.
The confidence Paul expresses in Timothy is the fruit of time, transparency, and tenderness.
If you feel that you are lacking a friendship like this, make it a matter of prayer.
Keep your eyes open for someone that you can befriend.
Be sensitive to the nudging of the Holy Spirit.
Step outside your comfort zone.
John wrote in 1 John 3:18,
“My little children, don’t just talk about love as an idea or a theory. Make it your true way of life, and live in the pattern of gracious love.” (The VOICE)
Genuine love is more than pretty words; it is action.
Let’s show our love and affection to each other in a genuine and transparent way.
Today: Read Philippians 2:19-24