INSPIRATION FOR YOU
Jesus, our example in all things, demonstrated methods for creating freedom in relationships. How do we follow His example and apply these principles in real life?
- Protect your friend's reputation - Jesus our example: He knew all about the woman taken in adultery, and He knew all about the leaders who accused her of committing adultery, but He wrote their sins in the dust so they would be blown away by a puff of wind. He did not expose their sins publicly. He protected their reputations. John 8:2-11.
- Employ the language if acceptance - Jesus our example: He accepted everyone: rich, poor, rulers, servants, untouchables. "Every soul was precious in His eyes; in all men He saw fallen souls whom it was His mission to save." The Desire of Ages, p. 353.11.
- Encourage other relationships - Jesus our example: "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations...." Matthew 28:19, RSV.
- Be cautious with criticism - Jesus our example: "He exercised the greatest tact and thoughtful, kind attention in His intercourse with people. He was never rude, never needlessly spoke a severe word, and never gave needless pain to a sensitive soul. He did not censure human weakness. He fearlessly denounced hypocrisy, unbelief, and iniquity, but tears were in His voice as He uttered His scathing rebukes." The Desire of Ages, p. 353.
- Allow for solitude - Jesus our example: "After sending the people away, He went up a hill by himself to pray." Matthew 14:23, TEV.
- Be ready for change in your relationships - Jesus our example: "I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, who will stay with you forever.... When I go, you will not be left all alone; I will come back to you." John 14:16 & 18, TEV.
Source: "Friendship, God's Gift to Bless Our Lives",
By Lou Blanchfield - Produced by GCWM
Studies on women show that those who maintained strong bonds with people outside the home tended to be healthier as they grew older. Those surrounded by friends have longer life expectancies compared to people who isolate themselves.
Studies say that when you're with a close friend, you are able to let loose and be yourself. As a result, your anxiety and stress level drop. Friends can help you rationalize situations, raise your self-esteem, and forget about little troubles that are on your mind.
Friends also help us live better. The famed Nurses' Health Study from Harvard Medical School found that the more friends women had, the less likely they were to develop physical impairments as they aged, and the more likely they were to be leading a joyful life. In fact, the results were so significant, the researchers concluded, that not having close friends or confidants was as detrimental to your health as smoking or carrying extra weight.
Answer: The Bible is not silent when it comes to the subject of friendship. The word "friend" is found about ninety times in the Bible. Some general teaching about friendship. The Bible says, "A man that hath friends must show himself friendly" (Prov. 18: 24). There is great value in friendship. "Two are better than one," wrote the wise man (Eccl. 4: 9). A true friend will stand by, even in times of trouble. "A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity," the Bible says (Prov. 17: 17). Remember, Jesus is the ultimate friend of all people. "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends" (Jn. 15: 13).