Enjoying the Journey

As a boy I heard an older man say, “If you have a handful of true friends in life you are a wealthy person.” At the time I thought it was a ridiculous statement. I had a lot of friends! I planned to make more…

Now, at middle age, I am that older man! And I am beginning to understand.

There are many casual friendships in life, and even more acquaintances. But, true friends? They are rare, precious, priceless. And they do not come by accident.

It is easy to make friends. It is harder to keep them.

Some people make friends easily, but true friendship requires work. Someone has to work at it! The same is true for maintaining friendships. Time, distance, other people, distractions all provide potential disruptions to friendship.

True friends know this. True friends work at the friendship.

God is teaching me more about this every day. We all want friends, but we do not get what we want – we get what we are. If we want to have true friends then we must learn to be one.

  • True friends care. Conversation reveals heart. True friends don’t just want to tell you how they are doing; they want to ask how you are doing. Sometimes the greatest mark of friendship is just the willingness to listen.

Proverbs 27 reveals several marks of true friendship. The first is that a true friend cares enough to wound you, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend” (vs. 6).

  • True friends communicate. Sure, there are those friends you do not see for years that you feel like you talked to yesterday. When you reunite it is like you were never apart. But for the most part true friendship means there is regular communication.

Jesus taught us this when He said to His disciples, “I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you” (John 15:15). This is the secret to building true friendship: share your heart. Talk about spiritual things. Bring others into what God is doing in your life.

  • True friends contribute. Not money. Something more important than money – themselves. They give to the relationship. True friends do not drain you; they desire to build you up. Through their time and investment you become more of what God intended.

Proverbs 27 again: “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend” (vs. 17).

Just this morning I talked to a true friend. I thank God for such gifts. By God’s grace I want to work to be more of that kind of friend to others.

Our generation knows a lot about Facebook friends. This world is full of fair weather friends. We need an increase of people who want to be like Jesus – a true friend.

 

10 Comments

  1. DeAnna on December 20, 2017 at 8:05 am

    Thank you Mr Pauley. You are such a blessing!

    • Scott Pauley on December 20, 2017 at 11:16 am

      Thanks for reading. God bless you!

  2. Elizabeth Patton on December 20, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    Amen and Amen! This we learned especially after we went over seas as missionaries. We have Christian friends we may not even see every year or two but when we get together, it is just like yesterday and there is a oneness in our relationship with Christ that continues. We are closer with those friends than we are with some of our extended families who walk to a different drummer. It is the joy and side benefits of our oneness in Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit.

    Liz Patton

    • Scott Pauley on December 22, 2017 at 1:33 pm

      Grateful to call you family! We love you and Dr. Patton. Merry Christmas to you all.

  3. mark Cunningham on December 20, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    Great message

    • Scott Pauley on December 22, 2017 at 1:33 pm

      Thanks for taking time to read and comment. God bless.

  4. Tammy Skaggs on December 27, 2017 at 5:01 am

    Encouraging to read early this morning and thoughts to recall during the day. There is s friend that stickith closer than a brother. Thank God for Jesus.

    • Scott Pauley on December 27, 2017 at 9:30 am

      I’m glad it was an encouragement and agree with you – “thank God for Jesus!”

  5. DeAnn Brown on December 29, 2017 at 1:06 pm

    Thank you. This has been a real blessing for me today.

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