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Some Thoughts on FRIENDSHIP — From an INTROVERT! (Part 4) THE OLD TESTAMENT ON FRIENDSHIPS! (Part 2)

Two books on friendship — who needs ’em?  The answer is — I DO!  As an introvert, I try to avoid people, large crowds, telemarketers. But God in His humor has me writing two books on . . . friendship! This first book is tentatively entitled With Friends Like These . . . Biblical Friendships from Job to Jesus. We began in our last post thinking about the Old Testament on friendship.

While our study must be cursory, we noticed in the Pentateuch that Adam needed human companionship, that God actually had the Levites kill their friends for idolatry, and that two men specifically (Abraham and Moses) were called “the friend of God.”

In the History Books we mentioned the beautiful friendship between Jonathan and David and how it is perversely viewed as a homosexual relationship by some today, causing many men not to get close to other men out of fear!

Let’s take a brief look at the Poetry Books of the Old Testament this morning.  What do we see there?  The book of Job lays out for us the truth of being with a friend in pain. It also shows the danger of trying to “help” one’s friend through their pain when the helper’s view of God and reality is flawed. Job’s three friends each lecture him on his sin and his need to repent.  And they are wrong in their assessment (see Job 42:7). Theology is important, but can be used as a weapon to further hurt the wounded.

The Psalter has much to say about friendship, especially the pain of friends’ turning away when life becomes hard (see 31:11; 38:11; 41:9; 55:12-14; etc.). David declares he is “a friend to all who fear you, to all who follow your precepts” (Ps. 119:63).  The book of Proverbs reminds us that the rich have many friends (19:6).  The righteous choose their friends carefully (12:26) and we are warned that gossip separates close friends (17:9). One of the most critical points about friendship made in the book of Proverbs is found in 27:6 where we read, ““Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.” None of us likes to be wounded, but there are useful wounds from those who love us which are far more valuable than empty expressions of affection. Similarly, Proverbs 27:9 says, “Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice.” (27:9). Very practically we are told in 22:24 that we should “not make friends with a hot-tempered person; do not associate with one easily angered.”

In our next and last post on the Old Testament’s advice on friendships we will look at the major and minor prophets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on January 19, 2019 in friendships

 

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Ten Habits That Have Helped Me in the Christian Life (Habit #6)

If a habit is simply a discipline practiced over and over, I have a lot of them! Some of them are good habits; some not so much. How about you?

We are sometimes described as creatures of habit. Do our habits help us in our moving ahead spiritually — or hinder us?

I want to get better at spending time in God’s Word, at praying, and at developing an attitude of gratefulness. I find it easy to spend time alone with the Lord and I really want to share the Lord with others.

A sixth habit that most believers need to work on is developing friendships. Both with members of the family of God and with unbelievers.  I love the quote that says, “True friendship is when you walk into their house and your WiFi connects automatically.”  Plutarch’s statement is very practical: “I don’t need a friend who changes when I change and who nods when I nod; my shadow does that much better.”

God’s Word has much to say about friendship.  Notice these verses from the book of Proverbs:

Proverbs 12:26
The godly give good advice to their friends; the wicked lead them astray.

Proverbs 18:24
There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.

Proverbs 22:24–25
 Don’t befriend angry people or associate with hot-tempered people, or you will learn to be like them and endanger your soul.

Proverbs 27:5-6
An open rebuke is better than hidden love! Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.

Proverbs 27:17
As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.

Developing genuine friendships demands TIME!  We must invest in the lives of others, asking them about their lives, their joys, their challenges.  And then we must listen to what they tell us.  I love the C.S.Lewis quote when he says, “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”  Please share below one aspect of your discipline of developing friendships.  (to be continued)

 

 

 
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Posted by on January 6, 2018 in holy habits

 

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The Joy of Unit-Reading #63 (the Book of Proverbs)

Wow!  The book of Proverbs is AMAZING!  I want to make a couple of comments — and then provide my notes on the book at the end. (If you click on the notes box, you can read it better).

(1) There is much said about raising one’s children.

(2)  There are numerous warnings about the adulterous woman.

(3)  There is much here about listening to rebuke and accepting discipline.

(4)  There is much here about the use of the tongue!

What do you find in this marvelous book?

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Posted by on December 23, 2016 in unit-reading

 

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Proverbs on the Use of the Tongue (a sermon)

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Posted by on May 30, 2015 in the tongue

 

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