I remember very vividly a song in 1986 that began to sweep the airwaves across the nation. Dionne Warwick assembled a group of her friends, including Elton John, Stevie Wonder and Gladys Knight.
All of them had lost friends to HIV and AIDS…and they had made up in their minds that they needed to heighten the awareness about this deadly and yet misunderstood disease. They co-opted a song that had originally been done by Rod Stewart entitled “That’s What Friends Are For”.
I had to ask myself, if this is what friends are for…
That song in 1986 was the number one sold single and had the highest rotation on the radio. It garnered a Grammy as the song of the year. It was a year or so ago when based on that song I got the shock of my life. I remember picking up a USA Today and on the cover was a picture plastered of Dionne Warwick and under it was the headline…CELEBRITY OWES 3.1 MILLION DOLLARS IN BACK TAXES.
As I went on to read the article I soon saw that she had a one million dollar tax lien since 1990…and in my head I began to reflect and hear the melody…IN GOOD TIMES AND BAD TIMES, I’LL BE ON YOUR SIDE FOREVER MORE…THAT’S WHAT FRIENDS ARE FOR. She owes 3.1 million dollars in taxes and a million in a lien…and I could not understand how she owed all of that money when the ones that she sang the song with were doing lucratively well.
I had to ask myself, if this is what friends are for…and all of them could pay off her bills without blinking, I wonder what kind of friends they really are?
It is easy to sing with people. It’s easy to say words to people when there is no pressure. It’s easy to sit with people in church and touch them and repeat things to them and laugh with them…but you don’t know who your real friends are until you find yourself in adversity or in a trial. I don’t need you to be my friend when I don’t need anything.
I want to know are you my friend when my back is up against the wall and I can’t do for myself. Be my friend when even what you have to tell me is not what I want to hear but you speak it to me because you refuse to let me live beneath who God made me. Be my friend when you see me slipping off the road about to do the wrong thing when I should be doing the right thing. Be my friend even at the cost of hurting my feelings.
All of us need friends. All of us need people in our lives. You’re not an island. You may think you are and you may even act like you are but you won’t get far with relationships.
Remember this is choosing friends…EVERYBODY YOU CAN COUNT YOU CAN’T COUNT ON. Don’t just pray for friends, but pray for discernment so that you have the proper friends who are committed to your life and your destiny.
GRACE AND PEACE!
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