The gospel according to Mark in chapter 2 tells the story of the man on the mat. After reading the story, I would like to point out 5 qualities of a good friend and 2 reasons why you should have good friends.
Who is a good friend?
1. A good friend is a burden bearer: The 4 friends carried the burden of their friend. A man lying paralyzed on a mat must have been quite a heavy load. But together the 4 of them carried him and lifted him up.
2. A good friend helps you to break through your obstacles: When the 4 friends arrived at where Jesus was, the bible says in verse 3 " when they could not come near to Jesus because of the crowd, they broke the roof where he was." A good friend sees your obstacles and helps you to break through them.
3. A good friend wants you to arise: The man on the mat was paralyzed and sitting on the floor. His 4 friends were able and not disabled. They had legs which could function and they wanted their paralyzed friend to be like them. They wanted him to get up. They wanted him to arise. They wanted him to walk. So a good friend is someone who wants to see you stand on your own feet. A good friend is someone who wants you to stop being weak. A good friend is someone who wants something better for you.
4. A man lying paralyzed on a mat is the work of darkness. Verse 5 says "when Jesus saw their faith." They had faith in Jesus to heal their friend and they had hope that the present condition of their friend could be changed by Jesus. Quality number 4 of a good friend is this; a good friend is a believer. A good friend believes in the power of God to undo the works of darkness. A good friend believes you are better than your current sate. A good friend believes you have more to offer. A good friend is someone who believes in you.
5. A good friend is someone who is courageous enough to bring you face to face with the truth about yourself: Verse 5b says ", he said to the paralytic, son your sins are forgiven." The 4 friends brought the man on the mat to Jesus Christ who could tell him the truth. Up close, standing before Jesus, Jesus said to him "your sins are forgiven." Jesus could see that he was a sinner and immediately after his sins were forgiven, he received a total and complete healing.
2 Reasons why you should have good friends.
Friendship is not about calling yourself a friend. Friendship is about being a friend. Like the man on the mat, here are 2 reasons why you need good friends.
1. Friendship is a support system: At some point in our lives we have been paralyzed by situations and been on the mat of life. When you cannot lift yourself up, you need the support of trusted, spirit filled believers as friends. So prayerfully choose and surround yourself with friends selected by the Holy Spirit.
2. The right friendship can bring you closer to your expected end: The 4 friends brought the man on the mat to Jesus. When he met Jesus he was healed and then he arose from the mat and walked out with his 2 feet. The man on the mat was not supposed to be on the mat. He was meant to stand and walk. The right friendship helped him to arrive at his expected end.
Where can you find good friends?
The bible did not tell us where the man on the mat met his 4 friends. But I know that a good friend is one of the blessings of the Lord that maketh rich and adds no sorrow. So, if you want to have good friends here are 5 things you can do.
1. First of all you need to make friends with Jesus.
2. Be a good friend yourself. You will not attract good friends if you are a bad person yourself.
3. Prayerfully ask the Holy Spirit to choose your friends. Ask him to bring your way people with the same motive as you who are going in the same direction. Plead with him to surround you with good friends just like the 4 good friends of the man on the mat surrounded him.
4. Be filled with the holy ghost and be alert because good friends pass by every day but you have to be able to discern their presence.
5. Have faith and confidence that even though you might have missed it by welcoming the wrong people into your life, everything will be all right.
At the end of the story, the bible says "he went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God saying, we never saw anything like this." He came in on a mat aided by 4 friends. At the end, he walked out of their presence unaided and went his own way. There is a very important message here. Sometimes there are sent friends who come into our lives for a set purpose. The bible reminds us there is a time for everything. In the beginning he held on to his 4 friends. At the end, he let go and went his own way. There is a time to attach and there is a time to detach. When sent friends have completed their assignment in your life, let go, be strong and embrace your next level.
About the Author:
Kingdom Child is one of God's many children called to show forth the light of His glory. She writes the Christian blog "His Kingdom Women" and is also a Pastor's wife. You can find Kingdom Child on the web at http://womenofhiskingdomministires.com