BY REV. DR. PHILIP CRAIG
Greater Springfield Community Church
Luke 22: 21-23
It is in this scripture that we can determine the importance of identifying who your fake friends are and how to deal with them, so that they never get a chance to derail your plans and spoil your ultimate goals in life.
Fake friends, in many cases, are closest to us. They are the ones who walk in our shadows, watch our continued accomplishments and secretly wish that they can have what you possess. Jesus—who was betrayed by Judas—did nothing to Judas for him to act in such a manner, but he was betrayed by him anyhow. Fake friends very rarely have a legitimate excuse as to why they gossip about you behind your back, violate your relationship with another or sell you out for a promotion of some type. The fact that they act like a friend, but really be an enemy, should be a concern to you.
Fake friends, if given the chance, can be a hindrance that you should avoid. Real friends will do all they can to help and empower you to reach the goals you are attempting to accomplish. Real friends will support you in all your endeavors and be there every step of the way. Real friends forgive you for anything in the same way that way God has forgiven us for all of our sins. Real friends know that we are human and can really screw up sometimes.
With fake friends, a mistake can cost you your friendship because they never really valued your friendship in the first place. My third point: real friends keep your secrets. There is never a more embarrassing moment when you confide in someone who you think you can trust and they tell others your most hidden secrets. Jesus knew what Judas was up to, but even at the dinner table while they were all there, Jesus never revealed that Judas was His betrayer. He just said, “The hand of him who betrayeth me is with me at this table.”
Real friends never tell friends’ secrets. Fake friends will treat your secrets as if they have no value and are not sacred. My fourth and fifth point on real friends—they make time for you and never show selfish behavior. When you have a friend and they can never make time for you, you should question their friendship. A real friend will always make a way somehow to talk or meet with you when you really need it, even if it’s only for an hour or 30 minutes during lunch or between chores and errands.
Fake friends are selfish. Judas saw how Jesus had done so much good for others and knew He would do anything for Judas if he would have only asked—but instead, selfishness and his greedy appetite got the best of him and he decided to sell out the son of God for 22 pieces of silver. In other words, he sold something that was priceless. Finding a good friend is very rare. A good friend is more than a companion, colleague or someone with whom you may have some things in common. I would challenge you to begin looking at the people with whom you surround yourself and determine if they can pass the real friend test. Compare them to the five points I mention in this article today and see if they are real friends or fake friends.
Identifying fake friends in your circle may very well save your life. There is an old hymn that comes to mind titled “What a Friend We Have in Jesus, and I’d encourage you to listen or read the lyrics when you have time. It starts out by saying, “What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear, what a privilege to carry, everything to God in prayer.” Remember, when you can’t depend on your fake friends, Jesus will always be a real friend.
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Email Pastor Craig at Phil.firstname.lastname@example.org