Thursday, September 8, 2016

The Value of a True Friend

Chuckle: "Who was that on the phone, Fred?" "No one important, just some man who said it was long distance from Chicago. I told him I knew that already and hung up."
Great quote: "Be slow to fall into friendships, but when thou art in, continue firm and constant." --Socrates
"To Philemon our dear friend and fellow worker, . . I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers" (Philemon 1b, 4 NIV).
It seems to me that real and lasting friendships are becoming a rarity in our society. With our hustle and bustle lives, we tend to deal with people more on an acquaintance basis rather than true friendship. Stop and think for a moment about that one special friend in your life for whom you never fail to thank God. The Apostle Paul recognized the value of such a true friend as Philemon and expressed thanksgiving for him in his prayers. He was grateful for such a special friend. Here are some traits of a true friend:
A true friend is trustworthy in all situations, and brings you great comfort. "A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother" (Proverbs 18:24 NIV). Do you have someone with whom you feel safe to share even your most secret and personal thoughts without fear of having your confidence betrayed?
A true friend always speaks the truth even if it hurts deeply and wounds your prideful spirit. "Wounds from a friend are better than many kisses from an enemy" (Proverbs 27:6 NLT). A friend who has your best interests at heart may at times have to give you unpleasant advice. A friend who cares enough to tell you when you're wrong, or making a bad decision, should be appreciated and treasured.
A true friend is there for you even during the worst of times. "A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity" (Proverbs 17:17 NIV). What kind of friend are you? There is a huge difference in just knowing someone and being a true friend. A true friend is steady and loyal during times of extreme adversity as well as during the good times.
A true friend will willingly lay down his life for a friend he loves. Jesus said, "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13 NIV). If we love as Jesus loves us, we may not have to die for a friend physically, but there are many other ways to practice sacrificial love -- listening, helping, encouraging, giving. A true friend will always come to your defense, work for your betterment, and be faithful to pray for you.
Take a moment to voice a prayer of thanksgiving for those true friends God has placed in your life. Finally, are you the kind of friend that can be trusted in all situations and cause others to thank God for you?
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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