Healing Choices: Authentic Friendships
“Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed.” (James 5:16 MSG)
Ramblings from Lacy’s dad – Several men come to mind that I know I have authentic friendships with. The first one is Phil Downer. Phil was our Sunday School teacher at FBC Atlanta when Kris and I were still in the singles department. I was a brand new Christian and still accustomed to the plastic facades everyone put up out in the business world. The stark contrast would hit me every Sunday morning when I’d walk in to hear Phil. His transparency with mistakes he made in his work as an attorney, a dad, and a husband, at first caught me by surprise. I remember thinking there is no way I would let anyone see that side of me. Yet he did it week in, and week out. After a while, I realized Phil was being painfully honest with us. Slowly, I learned to be open and honest with him. Today, 23 years later, I look forward to speaking with him in person, or on the phone, and sharing struggles and victories with each other. I try to pray for him daily, and I know he does the same for me.
A second man I have experienced authentic fellowship with is Dr. Jim Lyon. Here is a man that met with me for over four years EARLY on Monday mornings. His humble and honest transparency was so foreign to what I saw with most of the doctors I dealt with in business. He shared with me his servant mentality and repeatedly reminded me that he was simply trying to imitate Jesus. Whether it was dealing with a delivery or c-section, or washing dishes at home, I always see Jesus when I look at him.
Lastly, I have been blessed to be born into a family where my dad was authentic. I saw him in his most private moments away from the public eye, reading his Bible and praying. Always being honest, as he tried to be Christlike. God called him home several years ago, but replaced him with my wonderful father in law, Tom Dye. We have been blessed to have Kris’ parents live with us these past few years. What a joy to see him serve his wife, and our family, too. He has had many opportunities to share with me his mountain top experiences in business, and also some of his darkest valleys. His transparency has been incredibly helpful to me as we now negotiate these waters of commerce.
Jesus was the Son of God, yet He had his sidekicks. The disciples saw Him ooze truth and honesty. They saw the Creator, serve the created. What a model through authentic fellowship, on how to be useful to your fellow man, and to God.
I am so thankful for the Godly men God has placed in my life. It seems He consistently has one close by that I can lean on, learn from, and emulate, because of the authentic fellowship we have through the One we serve….
But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (1 John 1:7-8)