For reading & meditation - Proverbs 17
"A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity." (v.17)
We continue further with the point we made yesterday that in friendship we find the creation of a new energy that was never there before. The word that is often used to describe this is "synergism." It simply means that the whole is greater than the sum of its two parts. Synergy is seen everywhere in nature. If you put two plants close together, the roots mingle with one another and improve the quality of the soil so that both plants will grow better than they would if they had been separated. When you put two pieces of wood together, they hold much more than the total of the weight held by each separately. One plus one equals three or more. Stephen Covey describes synergism in this way: "' the relationship which the parts have to each other is a part in and of itself. It is not only a part, but the most catalytic, the most empowering, the most unifying, and the most exciting part." This is why, when understood correctly, friendship is quite frightening because you don't quite know what exactly is going to happen or where it will lead. Christians, of course, who bring their friendships under the authority of God and His Word need not be frightened of anything that comes, for they have - or should have - an internal security which enables them to handle anything and everything. A friendship can be frightening, exciting and at times exhausting. But it can also open up new possibilities, new trails, new adventures, new territories and new continents. We live deprived lives if we live without friends.
Father, I see that I am made for relationships, not isolation. Help me understand this principle of synergism and how it can work to the extension of Your Kingdom. This I ask in Jesus' precious and incomparable Name. Amen.
For Further Study
1. What did Paul say of Onesiphorus?
2. How did Paul describe his relationship to the Philippians?