How to Get and keep Friends

A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24 NKJV)

Good friends are such a benefit to our lives. They can lift, encourage, strengthen, protect, correct and love in a way that truly makes a difference.

However acquiring friends, especially good friends is not automatic to being around people.

I love the above proverb, because in essence it’s telling us we can have friends if we try and not just friends but friends who are closer, even, than our own family.

Friends don’t just happen. If you want friends you have to be a friend. I use to have a problem connecting with people one to one. I could speak to hundreds even thousands and feel no intimidation, but connecting with one person for an elongated period of time was out of the question.

Until a mentor in my life knowing I needed to cultivate friendships, and knowing how important good strong friendships are in life, challenged me and taught me how to connect and over time I have developed friends, some of which truly are as close and even closer than my own family.

It’s important that we have and
That we are the kind of friends that care as much or more than family.

I can honestly say I have friends who have seen me through tough situations, and I’ve seen friends through tough situations. Friendship is powerful but it must be acquired and maintained.

How to get and keep friends.

1. Make it a priority

If we don’t realize how important it is, we won’t get out of our comfort zone to achieve it.

2. Connect with people who are different than you.

Finding great friends requires having many acquaintances.

3. Give kindness and compassion.

While looking for opportunities to help others you will make some of the best friends ever.

4. Be open.

Don’t live your life closed off, hiding in the crowd. Be a bit vulnerable and reach for relationships.

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How to Lose a Friend

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Overlook an offense and bond a friendship; fasten on to a slight and—good-bye, friend! (Proverbs 17:9 MSG)

This scripture can save you a lot of heartache, in your marriage, family and friend relationships.

Have you ever had a strained relationship and started thinking back to figure out what happened and realized the tension is empowered by some silly disagreement or offense?

It is so sad how we will lose a great relationship over some slight, or even misunderstanding.

This passage says basically if we really want to be close we will choose to overlook weaknesses and conflicts and choose to love anyway.

If we obsess over an offense or irritation with our friends and keep harping on it, and keep bringing it up. The result will be a broken relationship. How silly to lose a relationship over hurt feelings or being insecure.

I know if you are like me, relationships are important to you. We need them and want them in our lives, but friendship can be complicated and hurtful if we choose to wear our feelings on our sleeves.

How do we keep from losing a friend?

1. Forgive.

Its important that you are prepared to forgive because people will hurt you and not even mean to or even
be aware they did. If you can’t forgive and let it go you will lose the relationship.

2. Don’t talk negative about your friend.

If you have an issue with your friend communicate with them about it, get it resolved and let it go. Whatever you do, don’t get obsessed over it and talk it up. Especially not to others.

3. Realize that if you’re friends they care about you so if they hurt you it was probably an accident.

4. Realize you’re not perfect.

When we are easily offended and won’t let go of the offense, there is an unseen assertion that “we” would never do that.

Give the mercy you want to get. You’re gonna need it.

Let it go have a lasting friendship
Obsess over it and the friendship will be over.

Sharp as a Tack

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You use steel to sharpen steel, and one friend sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17 MSG)

What are friends for? One of the greatest relational crimes there is, is the misappropriation of friendship. In other words using friendship for something other than its intended use.

The mistake many of us make is thinking that true friends while always being there for us and us for them, should just accept and pacify our behavior regardless, and most of the time be threatened with being defriended or accused of not being a real friend if they speak up.

The truth is the purpose of a friend is to sharpen one another. True friendship while loving no matter what, loves so much that it betters the friends in the friendship. Love accepts
But it also corrects. Love cares but it also challenges.

A person who won’t receive from a friend the things required to sharpen themselves is no friend at all but rather is an emotional leach looking to drain the life out of anyone who would dare be their friend.

How to sharpen and be sharpened.

1. Don’t be afraid to be challenged on your thinking and behavior by a friend who loves you.

2. Don’t be afraid to speak up when your friend is out of bounds and needs help.

3. Realize that true compassion challenges a person to change.

4. Don’t ordain yourself your friends number one critic and coach, attitude is everything.

5. Don’t let insecurity hinder your growth by boxing in your friendships to only include surface emotional appeasement

Get a friend be a friend, and get sharp.

Hey Friend

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Friends come and friends go, but a true friend sticks by you like family. (Proverbs 18:24 MSG)

Do you have any friends with whom your friendship goes way back, and even if you haven’t talked in a while, when you do it’s seems like you pick up right where you left off? Those kinds of
friends are so refreshing and life giving.

I just got off the phone with a friend who is like that for me and I hope
I’m that for him. As I’ve gotten older I’ve come to realize there are a lot of people who call themselves your friend but really don’t know the depth of the word

It’s a relationship that’s akin to covenant type thinking. In other words, I am yours and you are mine. I got your back and you got mine.

It’s based on love, a selfless consideration of others above yourself. It is refreshing, life giving and life changing.

Never underestimate the power of friendship. I encourage you, be a good friend and gather some good friends and value them highly.

Thank God for the concept, idea, and reality of friendship.

If You’re Smart You’ll Take it to Heart

Proverbs 2:1 (msg) Good friend, take to heart what I’m telling you; collect my counsels and guard them with your life.

I find it interesting that the writer here starts by calling the listener or reader “good friend.” For, in fact anyone who is giving you good advice, or wisdom is a good friend.

A good friend to you will advise you of truth no matter how hard it may be to hear it or act on it. It’s a good friend indeed who will give you wisdom. We find out later that this good friend is wisdom itself.

Take it to heart he says. As a pastor, a leader, a life coach to many. I completely understand why he would write this. You may think it’s understood but you would be incorrect to think that. It’s amazing to me how many people ask for counsel, and guidance, coaching, or leadership, whatever you want to call it, and listen to you but don’t take you’re wisdom to heart.

They listen, but don’t embrace it. There are many motivations not to. Fear, arrogance, pride, being unteachable, selfish desires, passivity, unwillingness to confront and so much more.

Bottom line however is if you need wisdom and it’s been made available to you, embrace it, change accordingly, move on and make progress.

John Maxwell says “the definition of insanity is to do the same thing and expect different results.”

So my advice to you is listen to the wisdom God has placed around you and let it work in you. Wisdom and the people who dispense it are your friends.

Any Counselors, Pastors, Teachers, and Leaders who can identify say amen!

Bridge Jumping part 2

Proverbs 1:11-19 (MSG)

If they say-“Let’s go out and raise some hell. Let’s beat up some old man, mug some old woman. Let’s pick them clean and get them ready for their funerals. We’ll load up on top-quality loot. We’ll haul it home by the truckload. Join us for the time of your life! With us, it’s share and share alike!” -Oh, friend, don’t give them a second look; don’t listen to them for a minute. They’re racing to a very bad end, hurrying to ruin everything they lay hands on. Nobody robs a bank with everyone watching, Yet that’s what these people are doing-they’re doing themselves in. When you grab all you can get, that’s what happens: the more you get, the less you are.

It’s interesting how people who are bent on being dishonest, or criminal, or even unethical, always want company. They always want to drag someone else down with them. My grandmother would say, “Misery loves company.”

It’s interesting how they have no thought for the feelings of others or the consequences. They have a distorted view of fun and excitement.

It’s interesting how greed drives them to hurt people and mess up their own lives in the process.

It’s most interesting how well meaning, good, intelligent people, out of a weird sense of loyalty and peer pressure will find themselves dragged into ridiculous behavior over some juvenile need for acceptance.

The answer for not experiencing the results of bridge jumping is to do what Solomon says here. “oh friend, don’t give them a second look, don’t listen to them for a minute.” Cut them off! Pray for them, love them, minister to them, but do not be tangled up with them. It will only end with you splatting on the ground underneath a bridge. Once they see what happens to you, they’ll be out. You’ll be on your own.

Life is not a game it has real consequences treat it with care.

Thoughts?

Leadership in Parenting

Not long ago I wrote about getting your kids to talk to you.  Instead of asking questions all the time, sometime the best way to get them talking is to do something they enjoy and just listen.  Invariably they will open up and start talking.  The conversations that happen in this dynamic are truly Phenomenal, and lead to great interactions and opportunities for you as a parent to give guidance.

Always remember.  Any kind of effective leadership is intentional.  To be effective it has to be on purpose.  It doesn’t happen by osmosis.  This is true especially in your family and definitely with your children.  Spend time with your kids.  Have fun with your kids.  Allow them time to express themselves.  Play to their strengths and let them know you love them and are proud of them.  Make these kind of deposits in their lives and their response will be revolutionary.  Here is something I have started doing with my 9 year old, Sydney.  She is very creative and funny.  This is all her I just helped with the editing.  I can’t even tell you the fun we had doing this, and the great conversations and meaningful experiences we had as a result.