Lent day 30: Who is Reu?
Luke 3 v 35 “the son of Reu”
His father was Peleg whose name means ‘to divide’.
Peleg must have realised that division is not the best way to live your life and named his son Reu, meaning ‘friend’.
I agree with Peleg.
Yesterday I led one of my regular leadership meetings and after I spoke a Pastor asked to share his thoughts on my message and where he was in his life. He commenced respectfully by saying ‘You are my boss’ and instantly I responded with ‘No, I am your friend.’ I wasn’t surprised that came out of my mouth because that is how I live my life. The day before I came away from another leadership meeting and I was chastising myself. Not because of anything I had said but what I had done. I had offered a handshake to someone I normally embrace. Everyone who knows me knows after I get to know someone then I am a hugger! Though out of respect for some who I know are “hand-shakers only” I will respectfully not creep into their comfort zone! That Pastor was sat with a “hand-shaker only” and I knew it would be awkward to hug one and hand-shake the other. I didn’t know what to do! So I did hand-shakes only, but the problem was the Pastor came in for an embrace but was cut short and nearly fell into me, the hand-shake saved the Pastor from toppling forward! Oh the pressures of leadership!!
Now we don’t need to be people who go around embracing everyone, but we do need to be a friend.
On the night before his death, Jesus called his workers together and said this: “No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you” John 15:15
How would Jesus demonstrate this? He said, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” John 15:13
Never underestimate the power of being a friend, friendliness, friendship.
Even UK companies are understanding that a friendly work-place is a more productive one. In 2017 a survey amongst 120 diverse firms revealed that friendship at work was more important than the scale of their salary. Interestingly 81% of female workers prioritised workplace friendship over salary, yet 45% of their male equivalents opted for the financial reward. But even amongst men who don’t do friendship as well as women generally, it is still a high percentage.
I wonder if UK Churches focused on friendship more whether there would be a greater productivity.
I try and live by these principles regarding friendship:
- Be nice and friendly to everyone, smile, be positive, change atmospheres to hopeful ones, redeem situations even if it hurts personally and you pay the price, negative responses often come from hurtful places, hurting people hurt people so the first blow is often a reaction or attention-seeking. Be generous of heart and pocket. Give time and energy. Every conversation is important. Call everyone a friend even if they are just acquaintances and especially be a ‘friend of sinners’ as it confuses the enemy who is trying to destroy them.
- Be careful who you let in to your life. There are some people who will drain the very life from you, they will suck every ounce of joy from you and dump into your life such negative rubbish through their constant whinging and complaining, that something in you is going to die in that situation. You have the choice and the choice has to be made. You choose the type of people you want in your life. There are some that are only friends for the sunshine, it takes the clouds of life to blow them away and then you are left with your true friends. Adversity, mistakes and failures will prove your true friend.
- Search for Agape friends. This is not a friendship based on a feeling or impulsive but a love that is constant, that looks beyond a person’s faults. Every relationship will have its time of testing, problems and difficulty. A friend loves at all times and a brother is born for adversity Pro 17:17 This covenant friendship is commitment. Covenant friendships are the joining by God of people together with a commitment that is long lasting, that will and has survived many hurts, trials and disappointments and misunderstandings. What kind of person do I want to become? Decide to find someone to walk with. Choose to walk with people whose thoughts, words and actions are what you would love to have yourself. Choose integrity, character. Choose wisdom, goodness, truth and discipline.
Let us all be Reu people today wherever we go and whatever we do. Go for the embrace but carry a hand-shake in reserve as it is needed on occasions but don’t confuse the two!