Briefing: Sometimes I get so caught up thinking about how my relationship with God must be paramount in my life that I forget that friendship and community is a Biblical principle.
Dispatch (Assignment): Do you ever think of your friendships as something that God planned and created? He did.
On the Street: “In all your ways acknowledge Him”. Even in my friendships? Yes, I am obligated to glorify God in my friendships too.
I was talking with my wife the other day and the topic of glorifying God came up. As we talked through some of our ideas and notions of how we glorify Him in all things, I had a visual image come to mind. I will try my best to paint a picture with words.
This is my mental image of how my relationship to God affects those around me, including friends and family: I am thinking of myself as a NASA rocket on the launching pad. The launching pad is whatever place I am at in life. It could be at home, work, church, or out with friends. As a rocket, and as a Christ follower, I point straight up (pointing to God). The goal of my day is to focus on glorifying Him. Now God is high above me in heaven so my focus is vertical, not horizontal. As I successfully glorify Him, my engines fire up and smoke starts to billow out from under my engines. The thrust and smoke start to affect everything around me. All things horizontal to me become aware of my desire to launch toward heaven. The harder I work to get off the ground and glorify my Father in heaven, the greater my witness to those around me. On the other hand, if I just sit on the launching pad all day and never fire up my engines, I have no effect, or impact on those around me.
We all have an obligation to impact our friends for Christ.
Proverbs 24:11 (NIV), “Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter.”
Proverbs 25:12 (NIV), “Like an earring of gold or an ornament of fine gold is the rebuke of a wise judge to a listening ear.”
Proverbs 27:10 (NIV), “Do not forsake your friend or a friend of your family, and do not go to your relative’s house when disaster strikes you; better a neighbor nearby than a relative far away.”
Being a good friend is obviously important but there are more proverbs that speak about having a good friend than being a good friend. Most of these proverbs speak of people who speak wisdom into our lives, someone who warns us of danger and loves us enough to tell the truth, even if it hurts.
Proverbs 12:15 (NIV), “The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice.”
Proverbs 12:26 (NIV), “The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.”
Proverbs 13:10 (HCSB), “Arrogance leads to nothing but strife, but wisdom is gained by those who take advice.”
Proverbs 13:20 (NIV), “Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.”
Proverbs 14:7 (NIV), “Stay away from a fool, for you will not find knowledge on their lips.”
Proverbs 14:9 (HCSB), “Fools mock at making restitution, but there is goodwill among the upright.”
Proverbs 14:20-21 (NIV), “The poor are shunned even by their neighbors, but the rich have many friends. It is a sin to despise one’s neighbor, but blessed is the one who is kind to the needy.”
Proverbs 15:22 (NIV), “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.”
Proverbs 16:28 (NIV), “A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends.”
Proverbs 17:17 (NIV), “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.”
Proverbs 18:24 (HCSB), “A man with many friends may be harmed, but there is a friend who stays closer than a brother.”
Proverbs 19:4-7 (NIV), “Wealth attracts many friends, but even the closest friend of the poor person deserts them. A false witness will not go unpunished, and whoever pours out lies will not go free. Many curry favor with a ruler, and everyone is the friend of one who gives gifts. The poor are shunned by all their relatives; how much more do their friends avoid them! Though the poor pursue them with pleading, they are nowhere to be found.”
Proverbs 20:18 (HCSB), “Finalize plans with counsel, and wage war with sound guidance.”
Proverbs 20:19 (HCSB), “The one who reveals secrets is a constant gossip; avoid someone with a big mouth.”
Proverbs 22:11 (HCSB), “The one who loves a pure heart and gracious lips, the king is his friend.”
Proverbs 22:24-27 (NIV), “Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn their ways and get yourself ensnared. Do not be one who shakes hands in pledge or puts up security for debts; if you lack the means to pay, your very bed will be snatched from under you.”
Proverbs 24:1-2 (NIV), “Do not envy the wicked, do not desire their company; for their hearts plot violence, and their lips talk about making trouble.”
Proverbs 25:19-20 (NIV), “Like a broken tooth or a lame foot is reliance on the unfaithful in a time of trouble. Like one who takes away a garment on a cold day, or like vinegar poured on a wound, is one who sings songs to a heavy heart.”
We must be intentional about who we spend our time with. The influence of our friends is very powerful. This is as true with adults as it is with children. Think about the people you spend your time with, do they help you in your pursuit to glorify God?
Investigational Resources: Ecclesiastes 10:2, Luke 14:28-31
Officer Safety Principle: Make a priority of glorifying God in your friendships. Cover them with the thrust from your engines.
from The Book of Proverbs Through the Eyes of a Cop
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
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