10/17/07

Ya Gotta Have Friends!

If we want to have friends, we must be friendly (Proverbs 18:24). We need friends of all kinds and for many reasons.

  • Some friends are Laughing friends. An early friend, Mary, helped me see “The Happy Side of Life.” She was like good medicine (Proverbs 17:22). Now I am cultivating friends like these in my Sunday school class. We love to laugh!
  • My friend Leslie is my Learning friend. Leslie opens her mouth in wisdom and shares practical advice. As my accountability partner, she provokes me to good works (Hebrews 10:24) and helps me embrace the character of God.
  • My walking partner, Kelly, is a Listening friend. There is no need for pretense or show. She hears my heart, not just my words. I can brainstorm with her about my vision, dreams, and goals. She hears my hurts and weeps with me. She rejoices in my victories and blessings without a shred of envy. She is trustworthy (Proverbs 11:13).
  • I can count on my friend Gail. She is my Leaning friend, offering support, and practical help. She answers my endless computer questions and sends emails with helpful information. She carries my burdens (Galatians 6:2). We have to be careful with leaning friends, though, because it is so easy to abuse their time.
  • And then there are the Lifting friends like Pam, Donna, Pat, and Sue. Pam is an encouraging cheerleader who helps me see my value and purpose. She gives me hope and speaks encouraging words (Romans 15:13; Proverbs 15:24). Donna, Pat, and Sue lift my ministry requests to God’s throne as quickly as their own.

Some of these friends actually fit in more than one category, but don’t forget: Jesus exemplifies all of these qualities of friendship (and that is a good scripture study). For example, we can laugh with Jesus, because He wants our joy to be full (John 15:11). He also prays for us, encourages us, gives us hope, listens to our heart, teaches and challenges us, and supports and helps us. Though we need to cultivate earthly friends, they may fail us. But Jesus will never disappoint.

Think about your friendships, and see if there are others you’d like to cultivate. Choose a variety!

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