These Thoughtful Thursdays are supposed to be what I am learning each week. However, some weeks, it doesn’t feel like I’m learning much.
Last week was a great week. We had an uplifting, God-honoring Easter service on Sunday. There were many visitors at church, and we had the highest attendance we have had since we have been here. That is an answer to prayer, and we are praying that many of those visitors will continue to come and have a stronger relationship with the Lord.
We had a relaxing afternoon at home, and I was able to talk to my extended family via Skype for a couple of hours — that was wonderful.
This week, we are back in the groove of school, but I am also preparing for our missions conference that will start this Saturday! I made 7 pencil pouches for the missionary kids to go with some coloring pads, and tomorrow I am going shopping for all the food I need. It will be fun!
I told my husband that I because of my busyness, I did not know what to write for today’s post. He told me to take one of his newletters he does for our church — so I will! I always learn from his teaching, and I know you will enjoy it too. I went all the way back to the first one he wrote for our church which was from his sermon called, “Marks of a True Friend.”
What I find amazing is that we never outgrow our need of a good friend. Sometimes I think we feel that kids are the only ones who deal with peer pressure over the desire to have friends. But I have seen grown women also wanting to fit into the “in-group” and desiring a really good friend. I remember a time in my life as a young mom where I wanted a good friend. God gave me those friends — and five children so that now I don’t desire a friend as much as I’m so busy!
God has made us so that we desire companionship and good friends. But we need to make sure that we have good friends — and that we are a true friend ourselves!
Here are three marks of a true friend:
A friend gives hearty counsel.
Proverbs 27:9 states, “Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel.” Hearty counsel is counsel that is from the heart, counsel that is earnest and full of life. It is biblical counsel that comes from a heart of love and concern; it is offered in a state of humility and confidence. This type of friend says “I love you and I want to help you be more effective for the Lord.” It desires a life of spiritual fruitfulness. We welcome and encourage that type of friendship. A friend who gives good counsel will keep you on the right path when you have many options from which to choose.
A friend gives good correction.
Proverbs 27:6 declares, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” A friend who will not correct me when I am wrong is no friend at all. Since no one is perfect and it is sometimes hard to see past our blind spots, it requires others to see our faults and shortcomings. A friend who gives good correction will help you get back on the right path when you have strayed onto the wrong path. Proverbs 17:7 declares, “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” We should be able to influence each other to have the character and attitudes of Jesus.
A friend gives continual comfort.
Proverbs 17:17 says, “A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” The bumps of life need the shock absorber of true friends. Fair-weather friends are no friends at all. We should be there for each other in good times and bad times. We should love each other at all times. Jesus said in John 13:35, “By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” The truth is, our heart’s desire is also God’s desire for us. We love Him and then we love each other.
I hope this encourages you to find and to be the right kind of friend. Share these verses with your kids so that they know what to be looking for as they look for a good friend. Friends can make or break you! Let’s choose (and be) true friends!
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