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Scripture and tips to improve the relationships in your life.
Friends. Where would we be without them? The Bible itself is full of powerful friendships. God talked with Moses “face to face, as one friend speaks to another” (Genesis 33:11). After the death of her two sons, Naomi decided to return to her homeland. She urged her two daughters-in-law to return to their own families, but Ruth clung to her, declaring, “Where you go, I shall go” (Ruth 1:16).
David and Jonathan were as close as brothers, even through they found themselves on different sides of a deadly political struggle (1 Samuel 18:1-3). And Job’s three critical friends found a true friend in Job when he prayed for the Lord to accept their sacrifice and forgive their arrogance (Job 42:8). Jesus, in speaking to his followers, to those who had committed their lives to obeying him and furthering his kingdom, said, “I have called you friends” (John 15:12-15).
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The Bible even offers advice on how to treat your friends. “And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them” (Luke 6:31). It also warns you away from trouble. “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company ruins good morals’” (1 Corinthians 15:33).
But making–and keeping–friends is not always easy. The Apostle Paul has some solid advice on how to do just that. It is found in Romans, Chapter 12. This is how that passage reads as translated by Eugene H. Peterson in The Message:
“Take your everyday, ordinary life–your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life–and place it before God as an offering. Let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren’t. If you help, just help, don’t take over. If you give encouraging guidance, be careful that you don’t get bossy; if you’re put in charge, don’t manipulate; if you’re called to give aid to people in distress, keep your eyes open and be quick to respond; if you work with the disadvantaged, don’t get irritated with them or depressed by them. Keep a smile on your face.
Love from the center of who you are–don’t fake it. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle. Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down. Get along with each other; don’t be stuck up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody. Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. ‘I’ll do the judging,’ says God. ‘I’ll take care of it.’”
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Think about your own life. How can you apply the ideas in this Biblical passage so that you are a better person, a better friend? Get started today on building solid, Biblically-blessed friendships!