Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Are You Friendly? Part 1b of Friendship Series

A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24 NKJV

Are you a friendly person? I guess what I mean is how well do you treat your friends? I first read this particular scripture probably 15-20 years ago. Back then it probably made little sense. I was surrounded by friends, so, of course, I was friendly. And most importantly, I wasn't a Christ-like friend.

In the first part of this series, I wrote about getting ourselves together so we can be great friends, and instead of moving forward with how to pick friends or even how to treat friends, I decided to expand a little more on getting ourselves together.

I think what a lot of people misunderstand is that it takes a lot to be a friend. And it takes more to be a Christ-like friend. A lot of my friendships I learned were not friendships. They either ended because I or the other person stopped working there or going to the same church or moved. If one of us had nurtured the relationship, it could have blossomed into a full-fledged friendship.

When we are Christ-like and apply His principles to our friends, things are better. It boils down to treating them how we want to be treated. In this day and time, we are busy. Some of us outrageously so. After work, you run errands; maybe help your kids with homework or do a load of laundry; or cook dinner. You have no time to call someone or even visit.

What a lot of us don't realize (you, however, may be the exception) is it's the same in your friend's house. The relationship doesn't grow beyond an acquaintance level. Sure, you are happy to see them when you do, but it's not like your best friend or like your family.

So, to have friends we must be friends. To be Christ-like friends, we must treat each other how we want to be treated. If you want friends, be a friend. You have to start with what you have. It could be a best friend, an acquaintance, family member, fellow church member or co-worker. But you must start.

I am not talking just being kind and nice. I'm talking taking a genuine interest in another's well-being. Listening and encouraging. Speaking the truth in love when necessary. Grow what you have. Make that strong, and God will trust you with more.

Funnily enough, I just got this revelation. But now I'm armed with knowledge. And that should help me. I hope this helps you.

So . . . are you friendly? Have you chosen friends based on your walk with God? Are you praying and nurturing your relationships?

Stay encouraged and be blessed!

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