‘Friends sharpen the minds of each other.’ Proverbs 27:17 CEV
Author Charlie ‘Tremendous’ Jones said, ‘You’re the same today as you’ll be in five years…except for the people with whom you associate and the books you read.’ When it comes to choosing friends, Dr Charles Townsend says look for:
(1) People who influence you to be the person God intended. ‘As iron sharpens iron, friends sharpen the minds of each other.’ (Proverbs 27:17 CEV) Relationships are the tools God uses to do this. When you’re with somebody, ask yourself, ‘Do I like who I am when I’m around this person? Am I more open, loving and honest? Or do I not like what I see in myself?’ Choose people who make you a better person.
(2) People who provide grace for the energy drain.When you’re empty you need to be refuelled physically, spiritually and relationally. So surround yourself with friends who will listen, encourage and be there for you.
(3) People who let you be real. ‘A friend loves at all times.’ (Proverbs 17:17 NKJV) The best relationships are those where you know you’re loved, you’re free to be yourself, you don’t have to put on an act and you can be honest about the difficult aspects of life. There’s comfort and normality in friendships where you can be authentic.
(4) People who help you grow in faith.You need friends who encourage you to pray, read the Bible and help you to see the ‘big picture’ concerning what’s important in your life. Ephesians 4:16 NCV talks about operating as a body: ‘All the parts of the body are joined and held together. Each part does its own work to help the whole body grow and be strong with love.’ Don’t try to do it alone. Reach out to friends who’ll reach back.
SoulFood: Gen 20-23, Jn 14:1-14, Ps 118:10-18, Prov 31:10-13
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2014