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The Facts About Friendships

By Henry Nelson



Proverbs 18:24“A man of many companions may come to ruin,but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”We all need friends, but few understand the basics about forming quality friendships. A true friend is someone with whom you enjoy mutual affection, interests and respect for. The best friends are those who are helpers in times of trouble. Those who are our advocates when you find yourself in need. The kind of friends that are worth their weight in gold. Solomon once wrote, “A brother is born for times of adversity, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother – that is God our closest companion.” Amen! {{more}} Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I have called you friend for everything I have learned from my Father I have made known to you.” Christ’s friendship gives us everlasting love, direction and revelation of His will for our life. Friendships are enhanced when you share mutual goals, values and power. Jesus knew that the best kinds of friendships would come from an intimate relationship with Him. Nothing comes close to the satisfaction we get when we are in close communication with the Lord Jesus. Friendship is enhanced when you share mutual activities that contribute to the qualitative and quantitative expansion of the kingdom of God and His righteousness. This might be best illustrated by a triangle. When two people want to get closer to one another they must first draw closer to the Jesus at the apex of the triangle. As they draw closer to the Lord in obedience, love and trust, they will find themselves drawing closer to one another. Too many people falsely assume that they can form friendships without making Christ the center of all relationships. Without Jesus at the center of every friendship it will eventually fail or cause us to put people above our devotion to God.Friendship is a way that we can show our love for one another as we are commanded to do. True friendship evidences the qualities of patience, kindness, gentleness and faithfulness without seeking its own interests. Love makes friendships grow by adding enrichment to every relationship. Love is not anxious to impress nor does it cherish inflated ideas of its own importance. It knows no limit to endurance because it bears all things, believes the best in every person, hopes for the best in every difficult situation and endures all kinds of disappointments. Without an agape love, friendships are mercurial, fleeting and fair weathered in nature.A friend is the first person who comes in when the whole world goes out. Friendship also provides the relationships that bring about 90% of the people into the family of God. Consistently, statistics tell us that about 90% of the people who become Christians do so through a friend or a family member. Friendship evangelism provides a warm relationship where people are able to feel the affection of a loving Christian before they are presented with the hard truths of the gospel. Few people seem to be willing to extend friendships to people before they lay the truths of the gospel on the people around them. May the Lord help us to be kind to all, friendly, and willing to serve those around us by extending a helping hand. The Lord befriended many as a way of demonstrating the love that gives even when others misunderstand, ignore or criticize the giver.Friendships are so valuable because through them we receive encouragement, consolation of love, fellowship and affirmation. Consider the great contribution that the friendship of Jonathan and David provided for men in their times of need. Without friends it is often difficult to overcome the hardships of life. We all need support, affirmation and interaction with people who care for us. If you want a friend, you must show yourself to be a friend, wrote Solomon.I heard a story which is an example of friendship which remains with me as vividly as the moment I first heard of it as a boy. In his first seasons with the Brooklyn Dodgers, Jackie Robinson, the first black man to play Major League baseball, faced venom nearly everywhere he traveled–fastballs at his head, spikings on the bases, brutal epithets from the opposing dugouts and from the crowds. During one game in Boston, the taunts and racial slurs seemed to reach a peak. In the midst of this, another Dodger, a Southern white named Pee Wee Reese, called timeout. He walked from his position at shortstop toward Robinson at second base, put his arm around Robinson’s shoulder, and stood there with him for what seemed like a long time. The gesture spoke more eloquently than the words: This man is my friend. Ephesians 4:15 says, “Allow the Lord to use friends to help you grow in all aspects in Christ as they speak the truth in love.” Amen!Choose your friends carefully or you will become like those who have settled for mediocrity, faulty assumptions or standards that are less than Biblical ideas. In a survey of more than 40,000 Americans said these qualities were most valued in a friend: 1. The ability to keep confidences 2. Loyalty 3. Warmth and affection. Friendships bring the benefit of allowing us to disciple people who need to learn more of Christ’s will for their life. Paul discipled Timothy in the context of a friendly relationship. He wrote in 2nd Timothy 2:2, “The things you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, the same commit to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” Amen!Friendships should be on different levels. There are some friendships that will be on a mere acquaintance level, some will involve the sharing of facts, others will allow us to share more of our emotions and inner most feelings, other will be more engaging as we involve ourselves in sharing responsibilities and then finally there will be some rare friendships where we are able to be completely transparent, open and honest with a few close friends. Ask the Lord to help you be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding so you can know what level of friendship to have with each person you meet. My opinion of people depends less upon what I see in them than upon what they make me see in themselves. Now you some facts on friendship. Amen!

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