Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Proverbs 18:24’

Friendships and Fingerprints

March 16th, 2016

A man who has friends must himself be friendly.” Proverbs 18:24 NKJV.

From others’ fingerprints on my soul, I am a better man.

My reflections and comments are about, “friendships and fingerprints.”

Family and friendships are what make you and I who we have become, and are still becoming. “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17 NIV. The exchange of ideas and experiences develop what we believe and influence how we behave. Few things in life, if anything, are as valuable as family and friends. New friendships are invigorating – so much to discover, so many new adventures together, so many new memories to create. But for me, enduring friendships are invaluable and irreplaceable. Each friendship has its unique patina from weathering the interactions of life together.

The quality of your friendships begins with you. The Bible explains, A man who has friends must himself be friendly but there is a friend who remains closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24 NKJV. You will have innumerable acquaintances that are for a season in your life but place high value on acquaintances who become friends. Don’t mistake acquaintances for friends. Invest in both; be grateful for both, but learn to distinguish the difference. Friendships require time and attention to mature.

My life is richer, our family stronger, and our ministry graced by the spectrum of friendships God ordained and provided. Those friendships are comprised of some friends older in wisdom and years, some younger and welcoming fellowship and mentoring, and some of similar age and life experience. From each I have something to receive and learn, and to each I have something to give and teach. Friendships leave fingerprints.

A friend eloquently wrote, “Without [friendships] I would hollow out like a good log that has laid on its side too long. Friendship has weighted my life with relational ballast. Like the texture of a wood floor it wears well under my feet everyday whether I know it or not.” (Old Friends, Dennis Gallaher) My lifelong friend, Don, recalled my saying to him, “Thank you for not letting me be who I would have become without your friendship.” To all my friends I owe a similar debt of gratitude. From others’ fingerprints on my soul, I am a better man. None of us are self-made. For better or worse, you are fashioned by the quality of people whose counsel you welcome, whose influence you embrace, and whose friendship you treasure.

Solomon was known for His wisdom and offered wise counsel about friendship, “The righteous should choose his friends carefully, for the way of the wicked leads them astray . . A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity . . The pleasantness of one’s friend springs from his earnest counsel. Do not forsake your friend and the friend of your father.” Proverbs 12:26 NKJV/17:17 NIV/27:9-10 NIV.

Today, I pray for you to value the gift of those God sovereignly places in your life.

(You can read more of Dennis Gallaher’s comments on Old Friends at: ActLikeMenBlog.Com)

Christian Communications 2016 www.facebook.com/everydaylife.allenrandolph

 

Devotionals , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Fellow Travelers

May 1st, 2015

“A [person] that has friends must themselves be friendly.” Proverbs 18:24 NKJV.

Life is best in the company of family and friends.

My thoughts and comments today are about “fellow travelers.”

Life is a journey; don’t travel alone. In your journey, joy and satisfaction are found in the company of fellow travelers. Life is most satisfying when lived in the strengthening context of healthy relationships. Healthy relationships are meant to be learned among family and friends. Those relationships are meant to complement each other, never compete or conflict. For a richness of life, you will need both family and friends. Life will still be life with good times and bad; that’s exactly why meaningful relationships are important.

Solomon wisely observed, “Friends love through all kinds of weather, and families stick together in all kinds of trouble.” Proverbs 17:17 MSG. Family and friends will share both your joys and difficulties. In the company of others, each enjoyment is multiplied and every difficulty is divided. “When others are happy, be happy with them. If they are sad, share their sorrow. Live in harmony with each other . . enjoy the company of ordinary people.” Romans 12:15-16 NLT.

In the Garden of Eden at the origin of life, God established a principle. Having filled the heavens with birds, the seas with fish, and the fields with animals of all kinds, God created man. Then God asserted, “It is not good that man should be alone.” Genesis 2:18. But that principle extends beyond the marital relationship. Its truth speaks to the aloneness in which people are otherwise tempted to live. You are never your best without the company and contribution of the right people.

Life is best in the company of fellow travelers. “As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” Proverbs 27:17. That is true when family and friendships function in love, evidenced through mutual care and service, and compatible with Godly values. Family and friends are meant to be complementary, contributing and completing what God anticipates for your life.

Choose friends that strengthen your desire and resolve for what’s right and best. Choose friends faithful for a lifetime, not just the moment. Jesus told about a father and his wayward son. See Luke 15:11-24. The younger son’s heart turned away from his father and home, when he sought the company of the wrong friends. The Bible warns, “Don’t be deceived, evil company corrupts good habits.” 1 Corinthians 15:33. You will become like those with whom you admire or associate.

Reviewing my life, I have enjoyed the graces of God and graciousness of others – born with a Christian heritage of Godly parents and grandparents, blessed with a Godly, loving wife and family, and blessed with uplifting companions God placed alongside. In such company, I find sufficient strength and manifold joys. I am a better man, husband, father, friend, and follower of Jesus because of those willing to share their journey.

While reading this, I trust you are considering, “How can I have friends like that?” I suggest you consider, “How can I be a friend like that?” In gratitude, I purpose to contribute into others’ lives as God, family, and friends have generously contributed to mine. Friendship is your response to seeing God present in another’s life and adding your applause to the process. It’s simple really, “A [person] that has friends must themselves be friendly.” Proverbs 18:24.

Today, I pray for you that your journey is joined by those who inspire you to be your best.

Devotionals , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Connections

March 13th, 2015

“A man who has friends must himself be friendly.” Proverbs 18:24 NKJV.

When shared with a friend, sorrows are divided but joys are multiplied.

My thoughts and comments today are about “connections.”

ED pix connecting

Life can be lonelier than it’s meant to be. Loneliness results from a lack of meaningful and mutual connections with others. You can feel lonely in the company of a crowd but loved in the companionship of a friend. Godly companionship is nurturing to the soul in good times and nurses the wounds in difficulties. “As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” Proverbs 27:17.

The Bible tells the story of Naomi. Read Ruth 1:1-22 NIV. In a famine, Elimelech and Naomi, with their two sons left Bethlehem for Moab seeking a better life. Elimelech died and their sons married Moabite wives, Ruth and Orpah. Within 10 years, both sons died, leaving their Moabite wives as widows. Tragedy left Naomi and her daughters-in-law with a shared sorrow. As often happens, in their common dilemma they discovered a shared life. In Jesus’ parable about the lost sheep and the lost coin, each story concludes with these words, “When he has found it, He calls together his friends and neighbors saying, ‘Rejoice with me.’” Luke 15:6-7. When shared with a friend, sorrows are divided but joys are multiplied.

Longing to return home to Bethlehem after her tragic loss in Moab, Naomi urged Ruth and Orpah to remain in Moab. But Ruth voiced her sense of Godly connection with Naomi. What began as incidental became personal and mutual. In their shared experience, God connected their hearts in a way they could not have anticipated. Ruth’s response to Naomi was definitive, “Where you go, I will go; where you stay, I will stay; your people will be my people, and your God my God; where you die, I will die.” Ruth 1:16-17 NIV. Their destiny became linked in Godly ways of mutual affirmation and blessing. Godly connections are engendered by recognition that God’s purposes envelop a common future. I love the providential occasion of their return to Bethlehem, “They came at the beginning of the barley harvest.” Ruth 1:22. Naomi left for Moab in a famine but in the loving benevolence of God they returned from Moab at the time of harvest. Maybe your harvest is just ahead also.

“A man who has friends must himself be friendly.” Proverbs 18:24. Ruth affirmed her conviction and personal commitment, in the most practical way. In Ruth’s words are relevant truths about mutual connections. (1) Connection requires proximity and priority of time. “Where you go, I will go; where you stay I will stay.” Self-absorption and busyness minimize meaningful connection. Make time to be together purposefully and take the importance of that seriously. (2) Connection includes room for others. “Your people will be my people.” Exclusiveness and possessiveness diminishes the life God means to flow freely. (3) Connections occur when God is at the center. “Your God will be my God.” Connections require a bond with spiritual orientation and purpose. (4) Connections require significant commitment. “Where you die, I will die.” Friendships can grow and deepen over a lifetime; stay committed to them. Value and protect meaningful connections where God is directing and blessing.

I am privileged to enjoy such friendships, and hope that I can be such a friend. Though there must be some things enjoyed in common, they are usually not the more superficial things you might think, such as age, social status, or personality. I cherish friendships with people both older and younger, of diverse personalities from mine, of both modest means and wealth, and of varied experiences and interests. But there is one very important thing that we share in common that strengthens the life connection we enjoy – our common faith and commitment to Jesus. Lasting connections will have a spiritual commonality with people on a journey whose destination is as yours.

I love the providential timing of Naomi’s return to Bethlehem, “They came at the beginning of the barley harvest.” Ruth 1:22. Naomi left for Moab in a famine but in the benevolence of God they returned from Moab at the time of harvest. Maybe your harvest is just ahead also.

Today, my prayer for you is that you provide others the company you enjoy.

Devotionals , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,