Page 9 - June 2018 - Truth & Tidings
P. 9

Yes, you may have real heartaches and   easy to talk about themselves, especially if
        emotional  pain.  But  an  important  first   someone takes an interest them. You may
        step is becoming a stronger individual,   have to listen to things you don’t really care
        spiritually and emotionally. Self-pity is a   about, but true friends are good listeners.
        fleshly propensity, and we are to “make   “Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep
        no provision for the flesh, to gratify its   with those who weep” (Rom 12:15, ESV).
        desires” (Rom 13:14, ESV).           Friendships must be maintained by two
          Never assume your friendships are shal-  people in order to be meaningful. If you
        low and everyone else’s are wonderful.   want to improve your friendships, you
        With friendship comes the necessity to give   may need to move outside your comfort
        and take and to forgive. Just because two   zone. Take the initiative and approach
        people look enviably happy does not mean   someone first. And smile!
        their  friendship  never  has  difficulties.   By being authentic and focusing on oth-
        Relationships take work. In fact, as you   ers, you will become the kind of person
        become close to other people, your faults,   with whom others want to be friends. Do
        many of which you were oblivious to, will   not try to imitate someone else in order to
        be pointed out. However, “faithful are the   be accepted. Be who you are. God is able
        wounds of a friend” (Prov 27:6, KJV).  to do amazing things in you and through
          Use Your Time Wisely: Your “alone”   you. By being sincere and faithful, you
        time can be invested wisely. There are   will find your relationships with other
        many worthy endeavors, but a comprehen-  Christians, co-workers, and acquaintances
        sive grasp of Scripture is a noble pursuit,   move to deeper levels and perhaps evolve
        and one you will never regret. While others   into valuable friendships. Psalm 68:6 tells
        are hardly able to read their Bible with-  me “those who are without friends, God
        out being interrupted by texts from their   puts in families” (BBE).
        friends, you can devote your full attention
        to meditating on the Scriptures. Unhin-  Help a Lonely Person: We all have needs
        dered by peer pressure, you can focus on   which cannot adequately be met without
        becoming more like Christ. Investing your   relationships. Those who are lonely or live
        time wisely will prepare you to be a true   alone feel the weight of these needs more
        friend to others. Do you have traits which   keenly. Emotionally, we need affirmation
        drive friends away? Is it your tendency to   of our value as a person in the roles we
        dominate conversation, to take advantage   fill. Physically, we appreciate handshakes
        of friends, or to stretch the truth? If so,   and hugs - recognition of our need to be
        strive, by God’s grace, to change.   touched and loved. Spiritually, we benefit
          Be a True Friend: “A friend loves at   from Biblical teaching. Lonely people are
        all times” (Prov 17:17, ESV). Let’s start   susceptible to depression, and “heaviness
        with people you already know well. Con-  in the heart of a man makes it stoop, but
        centrate on being a true friend to those   a good word makes it glad” (Prov 12:25,
        people. If you have siblings, they are a   ESV). Rather than talking to others about
        great starting point. No doubt there are   their lack of friends, be a friend. Show an
        others with whom you interact at school   interest in the things concerning them.
        and at assembly meetings. Ask a person   “Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill
        about his or her life. Most people find it   the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2, ESV).

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