How to be a good friend

One of our tasks for this week at CECL was to bring a video of a sermon
we have recently preached at our church. In our peer group, we watched
each other’s videos and then offered encouragement to each other
regarding what we thought was the other pastor’s unique excellence in
sermon communication.

I was really encouraged by all of those messages, and I appreciated them
far more than any other message, lesson, or sermon I heard this week. I
was quite impressed with the preaching talent present in our peer
group.

One of the messages was particularly “bloggable” because it offered a
clear and simple how-to list of how to be a good friend. It was a message
given by Pastor Austin Smith from Merrill Avenue Baptist Church in
Chicago, Illinois.

Here are his suggestions based on Scripture: 1. Know the difference
between casual friends and close friends. Casual friends are determined
by your circumstances, but close friends are based on a choice. * Don’t
be friends with lazy people * but be friends with people who stimulate
you mentally, support you emotionally, and strengthen you spiritually. 2.
Know the difference between fellowship and friendship. A truly close
friendship that moves into fellowship can only come when both are
believers in Jesus and share the same values. 3. If you want a good
friend, you have to be a good friend. * Get interested in other people. *
Know how to smile * Don’t be a complainer * Be a good listener * Accept
others unconditionally * Help people feel significant * Sympathize with
others * Stick with your friends through hard times. * Share Christ with
your friends

In conclusion, Austin encouraged his listeners to answer two questions:
Are you a friendly person? Do you have the right friends?

Then, in a blaze of glory, Austin made two final claims: Your ultimate
friend is God. God chose us over his own Son Jesus because he had his Son
die so we might live.

(Now, theologically speaking, I would prefer to say that God chose us
in Christ and not say he chose us over Christ, but I got
the point anyway.)

The other messages were just as encouraging. What do you think of this
take on friendship? Let me know by posting a
comment!

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