Posted by: Jo | May 31, 2013

True Friends

“A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 17:24)

imageOne of my daughters is going through a very rough time in her life. It seems on all sides she is facing problems. Problems emotionally; problems financially; problems requiring huge life-changing decisions. She was sharing with me, recently, how she is surprised by the reactions her friends have to what she is experiencing. Some are very judgmental and would like to point out to her the mistakes she has made. Some have glib solutions that they believe will just fix everything very quickly. Some are too busy with their own lives to even listen carefully, but, there are some who truly exhibit those qualities of being a good friend. I began to think through the times I had needed good friends and what I appreciated about their thoughtfulness and their actions. Scripture is full of advice about how we can love and support each other and finding this wealth of information is just at our finger tips.

“A friend loves at all times…” (Proverbs 17:17)

What a beautiful description of a true friend. Whatever the circumstances, that particular friend is going to stick close to you, offering his/her strength when yours has been exhausted. Not only seeking your company when everything is bright and rosy, but being willing to be there for the rough times.

“My dear brothers, take note of this; everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” (James 1:19)

imageWhat a relief it is just to pour out your fears to a sympathetic ear. Being a good friend often means just being quick to listen, not being quick to give advice, just providing a safe place for a hurting one to express what fears are looming in one’s life.

“Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” (Proverbs 12:18)

Again scripture describes a good and loyal friend. The true companion chooses carefully the words to say to the one suffering and I, myself, have experienced such wise words, from a loving friend, that a broken relationship has been healed.

“…But you – who are you to judge your neighbour?” (James 4:12)

Often when we are impersonally viewing another’s problems, it is so easy to quickly assess the situation and judge harshly the friend’s actions or decisions and James warns that none of us have the right to judge anyone. My daughter discovered true friends focused on how they could help rather imagethan pointing out the mistakes that had been made.

“Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.” (Philemon 1:7)

This one verse sums up for me a beautiful description of a true friend. This friend loves in the real sense. This friend tells of the joy of your relationship. This friend brings encouragement. This friend brings refreshment just by being with you.

Of course when we belong to the Lord we have the perfect friend who loves us completely and the beautiful old hymn tells it all.

What A Friend We Have In Jesus

What a friend we have in Jesus

All our sins and griefs he’ll bare

What a privilege to carry

Everything to God in prayer.

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Responses

  1. […] True Friends (godspeaking.wordpress.com) […]

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  2. Thank you my old true friend. God bless, Mary.

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  3. Thank you for this great blog. I remember when my discouragement was too much for me to carry. You said and did stand in the gap for me while I sat down and took a rest ! Thank you my dear friend !!

    Ÿ

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  4. So True Jo, we don’t need worldly fleshy advice or counsel we need to be able to Trust advice as being from The Lord. I have found in the past like others who needed help, that Secular Psychology and Counselling leads to more problems.

    Yes as you shared, at times we just need someone to cry with us and carry the load but I welcome Godly advise too and also ask my friends to pray for me when I have a problem and they do both, because they know what we agree with on earth is agreed with in Heaven, when it’s prayed in Truth and Faith and that we all need Godly guidance.

    I find when I’m hurting I can’t always reason out a good solution to my problems, so I need Loving support and advice and correction if needed too but I make sure all advice received is not in opposition to God’s guidelines, the Scriptures are full of Godly advise too, I love Proverbs (see below) I always ask God to help me resolve problems and often it is through the advice of my friends that the answer comes, although He has also talked straight to my heart when needed.

    Proverbs 13: 10 Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.

    Proverbs 12:16 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.

    Proverbs 19:20 Listen to advice and accept discipline and at the end you will be counted among the wise.

    Proverbs 11:14 For lack of guidance a nation falls but victory is won through many advisers.

    Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

    Proverbs 1:5 A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:

    Christian Love from both of us – Anne

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  5. Great verses Mum! James 1:19 should never be far from my mind. Love the blog this week.

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