Thought For The Day 06/16/13

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Those “Frenemies” In Our Lives!

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When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you. 

African Proverb

http://www.quotegarden.com/confidence.html

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The following post received the most comments of nearly any I have ever written. And it may well have been because so many people had never heard the term before! Or could it be because more people see themselves as they read between the lines of the post. I do not really know the answer myself, but what I do know is that something that received the notice this one did the first time around, deserves an encore!

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I posted this picture to my “MandysPath” Ministry social media page yesterday and I could not help but think about the word “Frenemy” even as I was contemplating the message the picture held. Now while you might just think the word “Frenemy” is a product of the 21st century tendency to create new words to explain the complex social issues of the day for which there is no existing definition, in fact, according to Wikipedia, this term was found to have been in use as early as 1953. But for those out there for whom it is being read for the first time, a “Frenemy” (AKA frienemy) is a portmanteau, which is a combination of two (or more) words into one new word. In this case, it is a combining of “friend” and “enemy” and has been explained as either one of two things. A “Frenemy” may be an enemy who, for reasons of their own, chooses to disguise their true motives and then insinuate themselves into your life disguised as a friend. Can we all say a “wolf in sheep’s clothing”? A “Frenemy” may also be someone who is truly a friend but is, in some way, a rival, such as occurs in the professional arena of entertainment. I am reminded of the relationship between Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie or even the wrestlers of the W.W.E. as a prime example of this type of relationship.

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My point here is that I have a really hard time accepting this type of behavior in anyone. For me, once you have been my friend, you now are and always will be, my friend. Once you have entered my good graces, it takes nothing less than a total betrayal to lose my friendship. And while there are some out there who groan at some of the things I put to print, I never “mix my metaphors” when it comes to the realities of how I live my life. With me, I am pretty open and honest. What you see is what you get and I find that I expect the same of the people I have chosen to become part of my intimate circle of friends. I do not insist that you always open your heart to me but if you choose to, do not present me with half-truths or evasions! And I guess I am not alone. The Bible has a lot to say about friendships and also provides some pretty honest assessments regarding things like false friends which is the term used to describe a “Frenemy” back then. Many of these quotes are from Proverbs. How about this one from Proverbs 16:28: “A troublemaker plants seeds of strife; gossip separates the best of friends.” Or how about Proverbs 13:20: “He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.” Or how about one that’s not from Proverbs. Let’s try this one from 1 John 4:1: “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.”

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Now I do not know about the rest of you, but that is why I always hold that we need to not just choose carefully the people we want to be part of our hearts, but that once we do, we need to cultivate and nurture and provide sustenance for our garden of friends. We take care of our gardens, carefully coaxing each bloom to not just life but beauty, as well. Don’t we owe those friends we cherish the same nurturing, devotion and tender and loving care?

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Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Romans 12:19-21 ESV

 

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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

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About Mandy Bruscella

Mandy's Story: As a Registered Professional Nurse with Certification in a number of specialties including home care, I was afforded the opportunity of working closely with various Social Service Agencies in NY and NJ. ~ A lifelong Christian, I was ordained as a Presbyterian deacon in 1993 and, after relocating to SC in 2000, elected to become ordained as a non-denominational minister. ~ I established "MandysPath" Ministry in 2011. "MandysPath" Ministry is a member of Pacific Life Church, El Sobrante, CA, network of ministries. ~ I direct an outreach ministry in an alternative setting, providing spiritual care to a congregation of more than 500 people from around the world via the Internet. ~ As part of this outreach, I write a daily faith based blog. In March, 2012 I was asked to become a board member of Heroes For Children which is a non-profit foundation, established to assists the Guardian ad Litem program of Horry County, SC. Guardians ad Litem are a group of court appointed advocates who represent the best interests of children in Family Court proceedings involving allegations of abuse or neglect. Working closely with these men and women who make a difference in the lives of children, I completed training and have been sworn in to serve as a Guardian ad Litem for the state of South Carolina . ~ I have been married since 1975 to a wonderful man, Daniel. I have a son Daniel and his wife Melissa who live in NYC. My daughter Sabrina and my grandson Landon live here in SC. ~ My father Harold continues to share his wisdom with me and is responsible for many of the ideas I write about!

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