The Bish Factor – Dave Bish

April 25, 2008

Some Kind of Friend

Filed under: The Bish Factor Weekly — davebish @ 5:56 pm

So I had this good friend in college… and one day he pointed some things out to me (about me) that I didn’t particularly care for.  Were they true?  Yes.  And that’s why I didn’t care for them.

 

You see, we had developed a close friendship, having been roommates for three of our four years.  You really get to know somebody when you spend that much time together.

 

And when you get to know someone that well, you not only learn to appreciate their qualities and assets—but you also get exposed to their foibles and weakness.

 

I could see his flaws… and he could see mine.

 

Early on in our friendship, when we were still trying to figure out what made each other tick, there wasn’t as much honesty and transparency.  Human beings learn from experience that you enter into trust like you do a murky lake… s l o w l y.

 

But we became close friends and in fact were both young Christ-followers in those days, so we understood that our friendship was cast in an even more solid mold, because spiritually speaking, we were also brothers.

 

And that’s where it gets sticky.

 

That’s because brothers love each other deeply—and yet they can also resent and compete with each other as well.  It’s just what brothers do.

 

So I have to admit, that on this one occasion when he looked me in the eye and had the courage to say what needed to be said, I resented it… at first.

 

I wanted to blame him for being critical.  I wanted to accuse him of being self-righteous.  I wanted to tell him that he didn’t know what he was talking about. I wanted to be really mature and say to him, “I know you are but what am I?” 

 

But fortunately, I did none of those things. 

 

And after thinking about what he said for a while, and evaluating it from the perspective that I knew he really loved me and had my best interest at heart—I realized that this was a friendship like I had never had before in all my life.

 

And so I thanked him. 

 

And I told him that at first it hurt me and that I wasn’t feeling such good things about him or our relationship.  But it was his willingness to confront me graciously in the first place that not only provided correction— but proved the genuine nature of our friendship.

 

I needed a friend like that back then.  I still need those kinds of friends… and so do you.

 

There’s a verse in Proverbs that says,

 

“Wounds from a sincere friend

are better than many kisses from an enemy.”

 

So let me ask you: Do you have any friends like the one I described?  Are you that kind of friend to someone else?

 

That’s some kind of friend.

April 18, 2008

Paul Wasn’t Perfect Either

Filed under: The Bish Factor Weekly — davebish @ 2:02 pm

Hello and welcome to the first installment of the Bish Factor online…

 

“I do things I don’t want to do—

and I don’t do some things that I should.”

 

Guess who said that?  (Besides you and me)

 

I’ll give you a hint.  He wrote two thirds of the New Testament and was the guy who brought Christianity to the entire Gentile world in the first century.

 

That’s right.  The Apostle Paul.  Isn’t that’s an amazing statement he makes in Romans chapter seven?

 

And I can’t help but think about this week’s visit to America by Pope Benedict.  You know, there are a lot of people who think he can do no wrong.  I don’t think he would even say that.

 

I happened to be home one afternoon this week with a bad cold and listened to his address at the Nationals stadium in Washington, D.C.  I appreciated the fact that he recognized Christ as our only hope.

 

And Jesus is not just our only hope for salvation, i.e. making it to heaven—he’s our only hope for living a righteous life here and now.  We need God’s grace for both.

 

There’s the grace by which we’re saved—a gift from God and not based on anything we’ve done.

 

And there’s the grace by which we stand—the daily, life-giving, Spirit-controlling, sustaining grace of God.

 

So salvation is Jesus Christ is both here & now (sustaining grace) and then & there (saving grace).

 

So I’m encouraged when I hear the greatest Christian witness in the history of the Church—Paul, the Apostle—make such a clear statement about his own struggle between the flesh and the Spirit.

 

He goes on to say in the book of Galatians (5:16-18) that we’ll never be exempt from this battle during our life on earth.

 

So that’s our reality too.  Believers live in the tension of two opposing worlds.  There’s the kingdom of this world with all its sinful and selfish desires—and the kingdom of Heaven with the godly results of living by the Spirit’s power.

 

So what was true for Paul is still true for us.  There’s a daily battle where we make choices to either be controlled by the Spirit or controlled by our flesh.  We win some and we lose some.

 

And that’s exactly why we need to make Jesus our focus and not sin.  Life in the Spirit is not about managing sin—it’s about following Jesus.  He died to take away our sin and he rose to give us new life—new life in the Spirit.

 

And the Holy Spirit living inside every believer is the Miracle Drug, or the Internal Medicine, if you will—that keeps us embracing grace when we want to grab onto guilt.

 

Oh, and by the way… we need this medicine every day and we’re on it for life!

 

Keep your appointment this weekend for more GRACE ANATOMY.

 

Dave

April 15, 2008

The Bish Factor online

Filed under: The Bish Factor Weekly — davebish @ 4:00 pm

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