■ By Susan Beckett / Contributed
Ever since I was a youngster, I’ve enjoyed reading the newspaper, and in particular, the advice columns—Dear Abby and Ann Landers—to be precise. I remember one very quirky letter a lady wrote in about a friend she had known for years.
One day, she asked her friend for one of her yummy casserole recipes. The friend told her that it was a secret recipe and refused to share it. When the friend died, she had requested in her will that the recipe be buried with her in the casket. Geez! I mean really, being buried with a casserole recipe? Pretty out there!
Her selfish attitude reminds me of “The Rules for Toddlers.” Here’s a few just to give you insight into the minds of these little people:
• “If I want it, it’s mine;”
• “If it’s in my hand, it’s mine;”
• “If I can take it away from you, it’s mine;”
• And finally my favorite, “If it’s mine, it must never appear to be yours, in any way.”
Funny, but how many adults have those exact feelings about sharing life with others? My husband always says, “Life is like a good fertilizer. It’s no good unless you spread it around.” Funny guy, but how true!
The Bible clearly teaches that friends (life-sharers) are a treasure—probably because even after seeing the good, the bad, and the ugly in us—they still love us enough to want to do life with us.
In fact, Proverbs 17:17 tells us, “A friend loves at all times.” In other words, if a friend gets mad and storms out of our life were they really our friend in the first place? According to Proverbs, probably not.
One of my favorite verses is found in I Peter 4:8. It says, “Above all things, have unfailing love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.”
Wow! What a terrific little word! Because none of us are perfect. Because all of us eventually goof-up. Because none of us will get it right every time. Because sooner of later, all of us will hurt or offend our friends and need to have a sin covered.
Basically, in the I Peter verse, “cover” means to forgive.
Laurence Peter once said, “You can always tell a real friend: when you’ve made a fool of yourself, he doesn’t feel you’ve done a permanent job.”
A real friend always forgives. Always!
Sharing life with others is one of the richest and most rewarding things we can do as human beings. Sharing the great deal we got at Macy’s, sharing our frustration over our neighbor’s barking dog, sharing our grandkids’ winning soccer goal, being brave enough to share our political views, sharing the mysteries of life, and yes, perhaps, even sharing top secret casserole recipes.
Sharing life reminds me of the Reba McEntire song, “Love Isn’t Love (‘Til You Give It Away).” I think the second verse sums it all up: “You might think love is a treasure to keep, feeling to cherish and hold. But love is a treasure for people to share. You keep it by letting go.”
Susan Beckett and her husband, Bob, pastor The Dwelling Place City Church at 27100 Girard St. in Hemet. Visit www.dpcitychurch.com for information.