CLICK HERE FOR BLOGGER TEMPLATES AND MYSPACE LAYOUTS »

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Friendship

I have met a lot of people at my new job at Wal-Mart and it has caused me to think about friends. I know that "you are now or you will become who your friends are". So I found this outline and have made a study out of it and thought I would share it with you.

As social creatures living on an inhabited planet, it is impossible to avoid associations with fellow human beings. As Christians, it is important that our dealings with other people be conducted in wisdom. As Paul wrote to the Colossians (though speaking specifically of our conduct with those not Christians, it would apply to Christian friends as well): Col 4:5-6 Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man. In His all-sufficient Word, God has provided the wisdom necessary whereby we can develop good relations with those around us, and avoid the pitfalls that too often destroy good friendships. Again, a good portion of this "wisdom" is found in "The Book Of Proverbs"

I. THE VALUE OF A GOOD FRIEND
A. A FRIEND IS SOMEONE WHO CAN BE A SOURCE OF COMFORT...
1. In good times and in bad times - Pr 17:17
2. In some cases, even better than that provided by a brother - Pr 18:24b
B. A FRIEND IS SOMEONE WHO CAN BE A SOURCE OF GOOD COUNSEL...
1. Counsel can that "delight the heart" - Pr 27:9
2. The value of counsel in general is seen in Pr 11:14 A friend who can be trusted to be a source of good counsel is certainlya blessing. But having friends who are dependable is not always easy.

II. ADVICE ON THE SELECTION OF FRIENDS
A. PEOPLE YOU DO NOT WANT AS FRIENDS...
1. Gossips - Pr 20:19
2. Short-tempered - Pr 22:24-25
3. Those given to drinking and gluttony - Pr 23:20-21
4. Those given to change - Pr 24:21-22
5. Liars, those untrustworthy, and those inconsiderate - Pr 25:18-20
6. Those given to violence - Pr 1:10-19
B. THE SORT OF FRIENDS YOU WANT...
1. Those who display wisdom themselves - Pr 13:20
2. For their teaching (counsel) will help lead you in the right way - cf. Pr 13:14 As Paul said, the wrong kind of friends can be a corrupting influence (cf. 1 Co 15:33); but a friend who is good and wise is one you want to hold on to!

III. ADVICE ON MAINTAINING GOOD FRIENDSHIPS
A. THINGS TO AVOID, WHICH CAN DISRUPT A GOOD FRIENDSHIP...
1. Don't repeat everything you hear - Pr 17:9
2. Avoid senseless arguments - Pr 17:14
3. Don't overstay your welcome - Pr 25:17
4. Don't meddle in affairs not your own - Pr 26:17
5. Don't play bad jokes - Pr 26:18-19
6. Don't be a "talebearer" - Pr 26:20
7. Don't be contentious - Pr 26:21
8. Don't engage in insincere flattery - Pr 27:14 Following such advice, one is less likely to offend his or her friends. But sometimes we do, and re-gaining their confidence is not easy (cf. Pr 18:19).
B. SOLVING PROBLEMS WITH OUR FRIENDS...
1. Make sure that you are at peace with the Lord - cf. Pr 16:7
2. Be slow to anger - Pr 15:18; cf. Ja 1:19-20
3. Be slow to respond - Pr 18:13
4. Avoid quarreling - Pr 20:3
5. Speak gently - Pr 15:1
6. Speak briefly - Pr 10:19
7. Be quick to show love - Pr 10:12
8. But if necessary, rebuke rather than flatter - Pr 28:23

Properly applying the wisdom of God found in His Word can assure that we enjoy the blessings of good friends in this life, and can look forward to enjoying these dear friends in life eternal! Rather than depend upon "trial and error" to learn "how to win friends and influence people", let God's Word be your guide! But of all the friendships we could possible develop, none can excel the one we can have with HIM who truly "sticks closer than a brother"- our Lord Jesus Christ! Have you become His friend? Consider what He has done for us... "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends." (Jn 15:13) Consider what He asks of us... "You are My friends if you do whatever I command you." (Jn 15:14) Have you done what He commands? - cf. Mt 28:18-20; Mk 16:15-16

1 comments:

Don Porter, M.Ed said...

Hello, Preacher!! I am finding day by day and minute by minute that true friends are far and few between. Very disheartening.