Week of Jan. 19
Developing Godly Friendships In Ecclesiastes 4, Solomon saw loneliness and isolation and became discouraged. That is until he discovered the importance of godly companionship.
Solomon wrote: “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:9–12).
The Bible tells us that we are to encourage one another, motivate one another, pray for one another, uphold one another, support one another, protect one another, and carry one another’s burdens. As we read in Scripture: “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17).
As Christians, we are called to love each other. In Proverbs 17:17, we read that “a friend loves at all times.” In the Gospel of John, Jesus says, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:12–13).
Solomon started looking at his own house and he discovered that one of the greatest dangers of leadership is isolation. “Better a poor but wise youth than an old but foolish king who no longer knows how to take warning. The youth may have come from prison to the kingship, or he may have been born in poverty within his kingdom. I saw that all who lived and walked under the sun followed the youth, the king’s successor. There was no end to all the people who were before them. But those who came later were not pleased with the successor. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind” (Ecclesiastes 4:13–16).
Solomon saw that those who served him often wanted to flatter him with words. Instead of being honest with him, they wanted to tell him what they thought he wanted to hear. However, he knew that the most helpful people to him were those thoughtful, sincere brothers and sisters who spoke the truth. Solomon also recognized the importance of heeding wise counsel regardless of his position.
Life is complex; it’s difficult. And often life is not easily explainable. We need to be honest with one another. When you look around you, it is not very difficult to find someone who needs to hear the truth in an encouraging way, someone who needs to be prepared, to be discipled, and to be trained. Make it a priority to share the love of Christ and the encouragement found in God’s Word with others. And if you are in need of godly friendships and fellowship with other believers, pray about it—and seek out those types of relationships. Ask God to guide you in your relationships, that they may be pure and godly and acceptable in His sight. Ask Him for a heart that is open to wise and godly counsel.
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