True Friendship

There is one thing that always bothers me every time we watch Star Wars, having to hear the Emperor call Anakin, “friend”. I have seen those movies many times and not once did I see him do anything that was “friend-like” toward Anakin. He convinced Anakin to mistrust to Jedi, storm the Jedi temple, think he could achieve some great power by following the Dark Side but never anything that showed true friendship. All of the Emperor’s actions were for selfish reasons, not caring what these acts would do to Anakin or the people around him. Yet Anakin was called “friend” by this guy not once, not twice, but three times.

When the Emperor was still Chancellor Palpatine he spent years being “buddy-buddy” with Anakin, earning his trust and getting him to agree with his ideas. The enemy can work in the same way, moving in too close trying to make us think that his ways and his thoughts are the ones we should listen to. The enemy may make you feel like he is on your side-just as Palpatine did with Anakin. Do not be fooled he is not your friend and never will be, just how Palpatine was never Anakin’s friend, he was barely even Darth Vader’s friend.

In Proverbs 22:24-25 it says, “Do not make friends with a hot tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared.” Sounds like the situation Anakin found himself in does it, I mean what kind friend would pull someone through the muck that Anakin was pulled through. All of that was for Palpatine, to bring him glory, to bring him power. Once Anakin had outlived his usefulness, Palpatine was going to have his next guy kill him, which he was hoping would be Luke. By listening to the words of his so called friend, Anakin ended up fighting his true friend and probably the best friend he ever had.

Obi-Wan had been patient with him, he cared about Anakin enough to tell him the things that he needed to hear, rather than feeding his foolishness by telling him the things he wanted to hear. Obi-Wan was a true friend that turned into Darth Vader’s enemy. You can see it in Obi Wan’s eyes and hear it in the tone of his voice when he speaks about Anakin in Episode IV, just how much he still misses him. It is important to be mindful who you allow into your circle of friends, because it is true what it says in 1 Corinthians 15:33, “Do not be misled, bad company corrupts good character.”

It can be easy to be enticed by the words of the enemy but we all have the authority given to us by Jesus to but the enemy back in his place. Never be afraid to tell him he no longer has the right (in fact he never had the right) to rule over your heart or keep your true self in the background. Do not be afraid to speak God’s truth over the situation, the enemy doesn’t need an explanation he just needs to know that he is not welcome. After all in the end did Anakin give the Emperor any explanation? So do not associate with those who anger easily for bad company corrupts good character and be mindful of your friends.

Remember, there is one that you can go to any time for anything and He, truly is the best friend you’ll ever have.

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The Wisdom of Being Humble

Pride: a sense of one’s own proper dignity or value, self respect; arrogant or disdainful conduct, haughtiness, an excessively high opinion of ones self. Hmm..sounds a little bit like someone we know doesn’t it? Anakin was very prideful, he felt that his abilities should give him special privileges or help him rise to the top faster than other Jedi. It is easy forget that Anakin was in his early twenties when he turned to the dark side and became Darth Vader. People in their twenties are usually very sure of themselves, yet they still have much to learn and, they need guidance. Anakin received way too much guidance from the wrong source, which of course led to his undoing.

The Bible tells us in Proverbs 16:18, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” Pride can make one believe that they can handle any problem themselves, with out God’s help or guidance, or the help of those wiser than them. Pride can make one think that their timing or way is better. Anakin was led to believe that the Jedi did not value his skills and that they were not giving him enough respect. The Jedi (well mainly Obi-Wan) begged him to be patient, in fact in his final conversation with Obi-Wan before turning into Darth Vader, Obi-Wan ensured Anakin that it would not be long before the council made him a Jedi Master he just needed to be…patient. But his pride ate away at that patience, he was lured into a power that was easier and faster, yet came at a heavy cost.

As believers it is important for us to trust in God’s timing, He knows each person better than they know themselves. Trouble sometimes comes when He asks that we lay aside our own understanding and follow His. In James 4:10 it says, “Humble yourselves before the Lord and He will lift you up.” God, out of love, makes sure that one is ready for the path He has laid out for them before they begin to walk on it. If they act too soon, based on their own timing, the enemy could take it away.

Anakin was not ready for the responsibility and the burden of being on council or being a Jedi Master, but he was too prideful to wait and it was taken from him. Pride but a twenty year hold on Anakin fulfilling his calling and one can be certain that it would not taken him that long, had he stayed with the light side of the Force. Trust in Him, His ways are always better, His timing is always better.

Walk in the spirit of humility, for it is not weakness but a great strength.