When I say friends, what comes to mind? Late night conversations, coffee dates, text messages, borrowed clothing or tools?
When I think of friends, my mind runs through a rolodex of incredible friends, starting with childhood girlfriends, some of whom I still keep in touch with today, moving through middle school, high school, college, work, and church girlfriends. I cherish the memories of sleepovers, light night phone calls, whispering about boys, crying with friends, and laughing with friends. Of all the memories I hold dear, are those when friends shared truth and wisdom, wrapped in love, with me.
It's important to have friends, those close friends who know you fully and like you anyway; those friends who will be honest with you about your strengths and weaknesses, encouraging growth, walking alongside you.
You Don’t Know Tomorrow
27 Don’t brashly announce what you’re going to do tomorrow; you don’t know the first thing about tomorrow.
2 Don’t call attention to yourself; let others do that for you.
3 Carrying a log across your shoulders while you’re hefting a boulder with your arms Is nothing compared to the burden of putting up with a fool.
4 We’re blasted by anger and swamped by rage,but who can survive jealousy?
5 A spoken reprimand is better than approval that’s never expressed.
6 The wounds from a lover are worth it; kisses from an enemy do you in.
7 When you’ve stuffed yourself, you refuse dessert; when you’re starved, you could eat a horse.
8 People who won’t settle down, wandering hither and yon, are like restless birds, flitting to and fro.
9 Just as lotions and fragrance give sensual delight, a sweet friendship refreshes the soul.
10 Don’t leave your friends or your parents’ friends and run home to your family when things get rough; Better a nearby friend than a distant family.
11 Become wise, dear child, and make me happy; then nothing the world throws my way will upset me.
12 A prudent person sees trouble coming and ducks; a simpleton walks in blindly and is clobbered.
13 Hold tight to collateral on any loan to a stranger; be wary of accepting what a transient has pawned.
14 If you wake your friend in the early morning by shouting “Rise and shine!”It will sound to him more like a curse than a blessing.
15-16 A nagging spouse is like the drip, drip, drip of a leaky faucet;You can’t turn it off,and you can’t get away from it.
Your Face Mirrors Your Heart
17 You use steel to sharpen steel, and one friend sharpens another.
18 If you care for your orchard, you’ll enjoy its fruit; if you honor your boss, you’ll be honored.
19 Just as water mirrors your face, so your face mirrors your heart.
20 Hell has a voracious appetite, and lust just never quits.
21 The purity of silver and gold is tested by putting them in the fire;The purity of human hearts is tested by giving them a little fame.
22 Pound on a fool all you like—you can’t pound out foolishness.
23-27 Know your sheep by name;carefully attend to your flocks;(Don’t take them for granted;possessions don’t last forever, you know.)And then, when the crops are in and the harvest is stored in the barns,You can knit sweaters from lambs’ wool,and sell your goats for a profit;There will be plenty of milk and meat to last your family through the winter.
Proverbs 27 The Message
For the past few years, we've been talking more about friendships in a redemptive community. What does that mean? It's a fellowship of the heart, a close circle of friends that you intentionally pursue. It's described at The Deepening Weekend:
- Requires a belief that the heart is good.
- A person’s glory is pursued, not their sin.
- Can’t be a substitute for God and what only He can provide.
- Requires personal intimacy with God.
- As acknowledgement that we are in a battle and have an enemy that will oppose us.
- It must be small.
- It must be intimate.
- It is a lifestyle where lives intersect and people live out their lives together. Pray, play, worship, eat, share and journey together.
- It can not be contained in a day, a time or a room.
- Where everyone can offer what they have. Everyone needs to contribute and be a participant. No one’s glory should be muted.
- A safe and trusting place where deep places of the heart and soul can be touched.
- It will be messy. Don’t avoid it.
- Change and disruption are necessary.
- Must be missional. It is larger than its self.
Pray about people in your sphere of influence who perhaps God is calling you to truly be in community with as friends!
Which verse did you carry with you today? Will you let it shape your tomorrow, too?
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