Friday, June 27, 2014

The Secret to Great Friendships

Artwork by Jan Christiansen
Our pastor began a new sermon series this morning, titled FRIENDS. During the course of the message, he had us pause and fill in 5 spaces on our sermon notes with the names of our 5 closest friends. I  filled in all the lines, but more names came to mind, so I quickly jotted 6 more names in the margin…and I could have written more! In that moment I realized just how very blessed I am to have good friends who love, support and encourage me.

A few years ago, that was not the case. In fact, I remember sitting in my pastor’s office in tears because I had no close friends. What has changed?  Me – that’s what has changed. In the past couple of years I’ve been up to my elbows in ministry. God has shown me what it really means to reach out to others and serve them, to help them succeed, to cheer them on in the good times and pray them through the hard times. I’ve learned that while laying aside my own concerns to encourage others, God has helped me build relationships that fulfill my own need for love and support.  It really is true – if you want to have a friend, you must be a friend.

I’ve also learned that the kind of friends you choose determines the kind of person you become. Birds of a feather DO flock together. We do become like those we hang around with the most, so be wise in choosing your closest friends.

I love this verse in Romans…

When we get together, I want to encourage you
in your faith, but I also want to be
encouraged by yours.
Romans 1:12 (NLT)

This is what I want FROM my friends, so this is what I try to do FOR my friends.

Do you find yourself in a lonely season of life? Wish you had a few really good friends? Remember the law of sowing and reaping. You get what you give, so start now to reach out to others and be the kind of friend to them that you’d like to have for yourself. Before too long, you’ll find that you are reaping a bountiful harvest of friendship!

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