07 June 2015

Be A Friend To Make A Friend

"Be a friend to make a friend” ~by D. Denise Dianaty
Friendship Devotional Philosophies
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“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord's people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” 
– NIV Romans 12:12-13

We’ve all felt the exclusion of our peers, as kids (and, sadly, as adults) and seen our “friends” look away or even join in our exclusion not to be themselves excluded. We may even have done the same. But, what a stunning memory is that friend who takes our part, stands with us, facing down that risk of being excluded themselves. Shares a kind word, lifts us up, and reminds us that there is joy and hope in the world for us too. This is when we begin to understand true friendship. 
– NIV Romans 12:12, “Be joyful in hope ...”

Other times, when life seems to be an ever burdening weight, a friend will commiserate with you, share their own burdens with you and try to help you carry yours. We learn our understanding of friendship and the fulfillment we receive from it in knowing that we are not alone in our suffering. We are lifted out of our misery little by little by the love and compassion of friends, and by learning to look outside ourselves to uplift those around us with our own love and compassion. We learn that we are stronger and together. 
– NIV Romans 12:12, “... patient in affliction ...”

Then, the simple act of prayer, of knowing someone is dedicated to our needs and lifts us up in prayer gives us hope and strength. And praying for others, lightens our own hearts and teaches us that, sometimes, a still and listening heart will lift us up and create bonds that last a lifetime. 
– NIV Romans 12:12, “... faithful in prayer.”

What greater act of friendship is there than to have a friend stand shoulder to shoulder, without expectation, to help us in our need? What more telling reflection of Christian example could we possible exhibit than to be that friend who steps up? 
– NIV Romans 12:13, “Share with the Lord’s people who are in need ...”

Perhaps the most personal act of friendship we can exhibit is to invite someone into our homes. It’s such an intimate act of trust between friends. To be invited into a person’s home is an invitation into their lives. To reciprocate is an acknowledgment of that person’s friendship. Inviting someone into our home is taking down those walls we all build to protect ourselves from the hurts of this world. The simple act of hospitality is an act of trust, of belief in the better nature we want to see in humanity. 
– NIV Romans 12:13, “Practice hospitality.”

Finally, together, we are stronger and in that strength, we can do more and share more of the love of Christ with all the world. What greater expression of our friends and our friendships than that we support each other and work together to do good in the world.
– Hebrews 13:16 “And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.”

I put this together a long time ago. I’ve lost track of what my inspiration and sources were, other than the noted scriptures. These are just some observations and philosophies on friendship I chose to share.

D. Denise Dianaty
© 07 June 2015

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