Love thy neighbor, but be sure to choose your friends wisely


Three letters of gratitude down. Or should I say, three lessons down.

My weekly Sunday write-up was postponed until today because of the events of my weekend which kept me busy and away from my computer. Yet, the events gave me much to write about and here I am, I did not forget to come back!

I am starting to get a feel for these weekly letters of gratitude and the more weeks go by the more I realize that a lot of what I am thankful for has been coming in the form of lessons. Lessons in disguise. My favorite line from the movie Red Tails, which I recommend, was that experience is a cruel teacher. She gives you the exam first and the lesson later. I think this way of learning happens to the majority of us.

This week started off great by rekindling a friendship that has been hard to place in my life for some time. Ever have someone come into your life for a season and then that season is over and suddenly you realize they are gone and then after some time you find yourself saying, how did they come back and what will the lesson be now? Or, where in my life does this person fit? Not to say that there is no room for certain people but certain relationships aren’t as simple as we’d like them to be and then you find yourself wondering what will become of it. Years of knowing someone, spending a great amount of time with them, learning about eachother, having a falling out, reuniting— it gets exhausting. But then you start to see the relationship in a different light. You remove the burden of expectation, that things have to be a certain way, of wondering what will happen next and suddenly, you realize what an amazing friendship you have been missing out on for so long and you want every moment of it lost back.

This will be a long post.

I can tell as I have a lot to say,

 so hang on tight for the ride.

I want to focus on people this week as this week revolved a lot on my interactions with people and valuing their time with me and vice versa. After a great day with my friend on Monday, I enjoyed a week of laughter with my coworker and ended my week with another good friend I met out here in LA over some pizza and a movie rental. Our meetup was not as easy as picking up the pizza and the movie, my car had to not start, just to make the night interesting. And so, I found myself being taken to the nearest auto shop to buy some oil as we discovered that I was very low if not empty and then my car started. I was thankful to have my friend help me out. I thought, well problem fixed, let me take it for an oil change tomorrow and to see if there is a leak. Next day, I am brought to the auto shop by my Monday friend, names are unnecessary at this point, and am told while he is driving behind me that my tail light is out. I chuckled, as I was already flustered after the news that I had a “major leak” and it would cost me $400. Another great deed later by my friend, and I was well on my way to our plans with a new tail light.

It was not until after church on Sunday when my car did not turn on again that I really started to see the theme of my week lay out in front of me. I called my apartment manager and her husband who have been a blessing from God to me out here since my move and they immediately came out, called AAA, and saw that I was taken care of. I was told by AAA that the battery was good according to the machine’s reading. After a few hours, I went to turn on the car to check it out and discovered that the battery actually had to go. I let my apartment manager’s  husband know of the situation since they had told me to, and before I knew it, a new battery was being placed in my car by him as a gift. I could do nothing more than to praise God for being a no lack God. It was a struggle but regardless of how things were going this weekend, I continued to praise and had faith that as long as I keep my eye on Him that He will deliver. And as the word says, He sure did because I did not have to go to bed worrying about how I would get to work. I was told less than an hour after I tried and failed to turn on the car that “you’re all set now. You can go to work in the morning.”


The sermon at church yesterday was a confirmation of a conversation earlier that morning while having coffee with a new girl friend. She and I spoke of many things having to do with her organization/business Kingdom Minds Youth Development all the way to choosing your friends wisely. I mentioned my blog and how over my “people” category you will see the words “you are your five closest friends.” That brought up experiences on both our ends that confirmed the saying. Who you surround yourself with is who you will become. You hang out with people who sit around and watch TV all day, then you will slowly start to notice yourself doing the same and wondering, wait a second, I never watched TV, what am I doing?!

Surrounding yourself with positive people and likeminded people will advance you and keep you heading towards your highest potential in all areas of your life. Removing the ones that bring you down and don’t believe in you does wonders.

SO how does this all come together? Confirmation. We say things. We believe them. Then, we question whether we are on the right path on our approach towards certain things. The thought of removing someone from our lives because they are not helping our vision just seemed well plain selfish. Going back to Sunday’s sermon, Pastor Desiree focused on key points to keep in mind when expecting miracles, signs and wonders from God who promises them. She was sure to break it down though! We can’t expect miracles, signs, and wonders from God if we don’t diligently seek Him first. He says ask and you shall receive. But like any good student, you must always read things in context as picking out a verse here and a verse there that conveniently helps your argument isn’t the way to go. Following those words, God says that in order to receive those things you must love Him. You may say, sure, I love God. But wait, there is more…

He says, if you love Me you will keep My commandments. BANG! There it is. Tough one for most to follow. This is where the cookie crumbles. This is where most men fall. Second to doing this, God wants us to love thy neighnor. Treat people as you want to be treated. Do for someone what you will want someone to do unto you.

Following this teaching in her sermon, Pastor Desiree went on to speak about relationships with people, making the connection between being obediant with God and having encouragers in your life throughout the process.  She touched upon how we should be sure to keep the ones that move us forward and get rid of the ones that don’t. Simple as that. My friend and I turned to eachother and laughed with our jaws to the ground. It was pure confirmation. We were doing something right. As for the love thy neighbor part, well my neighbors were the best example of that with their act of kindness and generosity with not just purchasing a new battery for me, but putting it in my car, and staying by me to make sure that did the job. I could not be more grateful to them and to God for taking care of me every step of the way.

People. Some will come for a season and you will learn from your experience. Some will come and go and come again and this time you better hold on tight. And others may come to be Angels in your life, help you out when you need a hand, be a family away from home.

Regardless of where people fit in your life, evaluate who they are in your life. Are they ecouragers, lifters, seekers of God too? Will they be excited for you if you told them good news? Will they answer your call when you need them the most? Better yet, will they call you while you are sleeping to check up on you asking if you are ok knowing you had a rough day?

Those are the people you ought to welcome with open arms in your life. And when your neighbor loves on you, you should think, who will you love on tomorrow that needs it? Receive blessings but be sure to be a blessing to others. It is as contagious as a smile.

To a lesson learned with not so cruel of a teacher, she didn’t make the lesson last too long, thank God. I will surely love my neighbor and will remember to continue to choose my friends wisely!

3 Responses to “Love thy neighbor, but be sure to choose your friends wisely”
  1. Audrey says:

    Miss V,

    I appreciate your letters of gratitude as they are a breath of fresh air and a blessing at the same time.

    Thank you!


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