Staines Memorial College

Devotion – Term 1, Week 3

Who Are Your True Friends?

Devotion: Term 1, Week 3

Ancient Roman writer Marcus Tullus Cicero said, ‘Friendship improves happiness and abates misery, by the doubling of our joy and the dividing of our grief.’ The fact is, it’s impossible to have more than a few close friends because true friendship takes time, attention, and commitment. ‘One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother’ (Proverbs 18:24 NIV). The hallmarks of real friendship include these:

1) Trust. American philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: ‘The glory of friendship is not in the outstretched hand, nor the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when he discovers that someone else believes in him and is willing to trust him.’

2) Giving and receiving.

Sometimes, one person will be the primary giver, and sometimes the other. But true friendships are always two-sided.

3) Sharing your lives. Blind and deaf American author Helen Keller said: ‘My friends have made the story of my life. In a thousand ways, they have turned my limitations into beautiful privileges and enabled me to walk serene and happy in the shadow cast by my deprivation.’

4) Mutual enjoyment. In a true friendship, you spend time together just for the joy of it. What you do isn’t necessarily of significance. Unfortunately, the busyness of life makes us forget what a joy this can be.

5) Respecting one another.

How do you build respect? By not letting obstacles or circumstances become more important than the relationship. When the pressure is on, you continue to treat one another with patience and kindness. And when the relationship is struggling, you work to preserve it.

SoulFood: Num 19-21 Matt 11:10-19 Ps 111 Pro 3:29-30

The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2024

https://vision.org.au/the-word-for-today-reading/who-are-your-true-friends-2/

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Devotion – Are You a True Friend?

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Two men were travelling down the road together when a bear appeared out of nowhere. Before the bear could spot them, one guy ran for a tree at the side of the road, climbed into its branches, and hid. The other man, who wasn’t as nimble as his tree-climbing companion, threw himself on the ground and pretended to be dead. The bear came up, sniffed all around him, and appeared to whisper something in his ear. The man had always heard that bears won’t touch a dead body, so he lay perfectly still and held his breath. Sure enough, the bear took him for a corpse and left. When the coast was clear, the man in the tree came down. Curious, he asked….

Devotion – Raising Great Kids in a Troubled World

Devotion – Raising Great Kids in a Troubled World

Bitter versus better. What is bitterness? It is strong resentment or cynicism. How do parents create bitterness in their children? Consider the following triggers:

a) Inconsistency. This happens when you are autocratic and authoritarian one day and permissive the next. What brought a strong rebuke today brings a smile of leniency tomorrow. So, your child never knows what to expect.

b) Moodiness. Today you’re fun and enjoyable to be with; tomorrow you’re irritable and distant.

c) Unreasonableness. There is no room for discussion, no opportunity for children to explore their feelings. ‘Just do as I say because I say it!’ So, the kid is never given the chance to think through the reasoning process.

d) Abusive behaviour. It might be physical or emotional (withholding your love, the silent treatment, rejection). Or it might be verbal (yelling and using words that wound).

e) Failing to walk your talk – saying one thing but doing another! You profess certain beliefs but don’t practise them. You expect your kids to be respectful while you display disrespect to others. You expect honesty from your children, but they see you cheat and lie your way through life. Children are keen observers – they may not say anything, but not much that you do escapes their attention. They see your inconsistencies – when what you say doesn’t line up with what you do. All of these behaviours can make them resentful. ‘Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so that they won’t become discouraged.’ (Colossians 3:21 CSB)

Jeremy Williams
Author: Jeremy Williams

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