Everyone Needs Friends
Dr. Charles Stanley said that if you attend a church that never mentions the cross or the blood that Christ shed for us, to get out and find a church that does, for that is the heart and the core of the whole Christian life from Genesis to Revelation. That’s what it’s all about.
Dr. Stanley asked the question, “How many genuine, close, loyal, devoted friends do you have?” Casual friends are rather plentiful; close friends, there are fewer of them; intimate friends, there are very, very few and the reason is because casual friends don’t demand much. “How are you? Good to see you again.” Close friends demand a little more time and intimate friends take time and energy.
And when we think about what the Bible says, how very valuable they are, and how important they are, I think about why we don’t have many close, intimate friends. It takes effort and time and most of us are too busy for many intimate friends.
If you have devoted, caring, loyal friends, and you can fill up one hand counting them, you are very blessed and fortunate. You see, it takes trust to have that kind of friend.
Jesus had friends, but there were three disciples that seemed to be closer to Him: Peter, James and John. They were not favorites, because Jesus showed no favoritism, but they were closer than some other friends that He had. Friends can be a blessing in your life or a blight on your life. There are some friends that when you see them coming, you just perk up.
Everyone needs friends. They are very valuable. God made us with a desire to be with others, and when you have had what you thought was a good friendship, and that person walked away, it is very painful. How difficult and discouraging it can be, because it was someone you thought you could trust, someone you thought was loyal and devoted to you.
But a true, loyal friend is of great value. There’s no substitute for those kinds of friendships, and there’s no way to place a true value on those godly relationships and friendships.
Those kinds of friendships are not found. You build friendships and you build friendships with a quality of relationships that will make that friendship last for years and years, or either they don’t last very long.
You want to build relationships to people who will contribute to your relationship to Jesus Christ.
Proverbs 18:24, A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.”
FRIENDSHIP BUILDING BLOCKS
Time – You have to spend time together.
Talk – You’ve got to talk with that person.
Listen - You can learn from them.
Tears – We must be willing to cry or to laugh (laughter), crying out the pain or tension and stress. Be transparent
Tough Times - There will be tough times in everyone’s life. One shouldn’t “pull up the curtain” to avoid friends. Friends are there when everyone else leaves. Friends share their joys and sorrows. Then we share the triumphant times.
Thankfulness – We tell them we’re thankful for them. There are some people who cannot say, “Thank you.” Maybe it’s because they aren’t thankful. All have different needs and different gifts.
Thoughtful – I’m sure some of my friends tolerate me, but no one is perfect.
Touching – It isn’t dangerous, if you’re godly, have a godly spirit. Christians hug because they love. There’s something about a godly touch, something about the right kind of touch that’s medicine for the soul. When your touch is right and your touch is godly, touching can be of great help to someone who is going through a difficult time. Some requests for prayer we can identify with, because we have been there, walked in those shoes, have a heartfelt concern for where they are. Have you ever hugged someone and it felt like a steel pole? The problem is not you; it’s them. They’re not willing to be transparent.
Transparent – No one likes a fake. If you’re transparent, they know you’re real.
God can take the most difficult trying circumstances in our lives and turn them for one’s good. He can make us vessels far more useful by pain, hurt and suffering.
But if you’re not willing to be transparent, and say, “You know, I’m hurting, I’m trying to find God’s will for my life”…to build a good relationship we have to be open, transparent, truthful.
If you could have one wish, one desire, fulfilled in your life, would it draw you close to the Lord or further away? If He gave you the one desire of your heart, how do you think it would affect you personally with your relationship to other people?
What do you desire that would have real lasting value in your life?
DAMAGING THOSE FRIENDSHIPS
How to damage a friendship:
Selfishness – always expecting the other to fill their need
Manipulated – controlled, free spirit
Possessiveness – I want you for myself. You can stifle that relationship.
Jealousy – I will not tolerate you being a friend to anyone else. You can’t ever do enough for them.
Criticism – a person who is critical. You can’t ever please them. A critical tongue is destructive, no matter what you do, always tearing you down.
Explosions - Wait and wait and let it build up, then explode. Then some say things that are undoable, very hurtful words that damage a once healthful relationship.
Covetousness – I want something you have. When you have that spirit…
Disloyal – not much loyalty left today. Sometime when pressure comes, they become disloyal.
Pure Dishonesty – The bottom line is honesty!
Busyness – Being too busy, we lose friends.
A FRIENDSHIP YOU CAN’T LOSE!
We’ve been talking about friends. Let’s think for a moment about a friend, who never misunderstands you, is never disappointed by you, never rejects you, and will never walk out on you. That’s Jesus!
John 15 tells us about the vine and the branches. He tells us that He grafted us into the vine, and the sap that runs in the vine, runs in the branch. The branch bears what the sap in the vine produces. He tells us in Chapter 15, “You did not choose Me but I chose you and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit and that your fruit would remain so, whatever you ask of the Father in My Name, He will give it to you. This I command you, that you love one another.”
The best friend that you’ll ever have is Jesus. We don’t own one thing in this world that would match one copy of the Word of God. This Book is the Revelation of the mind of God, the Heart of God, the Power of God, the Spirit of God, and as we read His Word, He is talking to us.
Jesus says, “Ye are my friends if ye do whatsoever I command you.” He knows the past, the present and the future. He desires an intimate relationship with us that we may reach the maximum of our potential in our life. You can’t have a better friend in life than Jesus.