by Dr. Charles Stanley
Sunday January 1, 2006
Building Wise Friendships
Some of God’s first words regarding His creation are found in Genesis 2:18: “It is not good for the man to be alone.” This truth still applies. Throughout history, people have sought companionship, sometimes focusing on quantity rather than on quality. Even if we count hundreds as pals, we can still be lonely. Wise friendships are built slowly and with significant effort, affording us time to nurture only a small number of loyal friends. But these true friends, not our pals, are the ones who will delight and motivate us throughout life.
In order to develop wise friendships, we must love sacrificially. A relationship that grows out of selfishness or dependence will die as soon as the other person tires of the lopsided arrangement. But two individuals committed to giving without expecting anything in return will develop a mutually beneficial friendship. They serve one another gladly, valuing the other’s desires and needs above personal wants.
Even in loving relationships, however, emotional and psychological injuries can occur. We all make mistakes; everyone who follows the Lord Jesus Christ has experienced His pure pardon. We should, therefore, be prepared to ask forgiveness and be forgiving.
Only by modeling Christ in our life can we truly commit to a friend’s spiritual growth. As we practice biblical principles, we will be able to encourage our friend to pray and meditate on the Word of God. The commitment to love, forgive, and motivate another person results in a wise and joyous friendship.