Thursday, December 4, 2014

Friends Build Us Up

Chuckle: "Do you believe in life after death?" The boss asked one of his employees. "Yes, of course sir," the new employee replied. "Well then, that makes everything just fine," the boss went on. "After you left early yesterday to go to your grandmother's funeral, she stopped by to see you!"
Quote: "Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort, of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but to pour them all out just as they are, chaff and grain together, knowing that a hand of a faithful friend will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then, with a breath of kindness blow the rest away" --George Elliott (Marian Evans Cross).
    "As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend"  (Proverbs 27:17 TAB). Here are some qualities, with related Scriptures, that describe Christian friendships based on respect, brotherly love, and friendship love:
Friends trust each other completely. If a person is your friend, you know he or she can be trusted to keep your best interest uppermost in his or her values. You can trust them to keep to themselves what you have shared in confidence. "A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man (person) keeps a secret" (Proverbs 11:13 NIV).    
Friends feel safe and comfortable with each other. You can be yourself.  There is no need for pretenses.  "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you" (Ephesians 4:32 NIV).
Friends are honest with each other even if it hurts -- even if it wounds your pride. The friend who sees the other going down a dangerous path will not hesitate to sound a loving but firm warning. "Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses" (Proverbs 27:6 NIV).
Friends freely share with each other their innermost fears, anxieties, burdens, insecurities, and questions. "Carry each others burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ" (Galatians 6:2 NIV).
Friends enjoy mutual acceptance, even with all their faults. "Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God" (Romans 15:7 NIV).
Friends take personal responsibility for the relationship and will not allow it to deteriorate even in the aftermath of heated disagreements. They will not rest until the air is cleared and the relationship completely restored. "First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift" (Matthew 5:24b NIV).
Friends are encouragers, not fault-finders. They build each other up and never attempt to make themselves look good by putting the other person down. "But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness" (Hebrews 3:13 NIV).
True friends are faithful prayer partners. They are strong and effective intercessors on behalf of their friends. ". . . The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective"  (James 5:16 NIV).
A true friend is one of the greatest gifts a person can receive. We are wise to nurture the precious friendships we have and never do anything to threaten them.

Love, Jerry & Dotse 


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