Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Choose Where You're Planted - The Friends Choice

So where are you going to be planted in 2010 when it comes to friends? One of the joys for me of being a follower of Jesus is that God didn't call me just into a personal relationship with him, but also called me into a community of like minded people who will both help me through this journey, and make it a lot more fun than it would have been on my own.

So how to be well planted when it comes to friends. First realise that who your friends are is a choice. You can't choose your family (other than your spouse, and that's a whole other discussion!) but you can choose your friends. So choose well. In Psalm 1 being badly planted is all to do with hanging around withe the wrong people - the wicked, sinners and mockers. Do you have some choices to make about people who are doing you no good? That won't be easy but it may be essential if you want to be well planted. Or do you need to look for some new friends in 2010?

You need friends who take you up in your lift. Who when you spend time with them you know you're in a better place than when you started. Either they've encouraged you, they've made you laugh, they've pointed out some of your good points, they've listened to you, they've challenged you (with a desire to build you up), they've been a good sounding board or they've taught you something new.

And you need friends you can be open with. Where you can take off the masks, be honest about what's really happening in your world, and where your friends can do the same. They need to be as open with you as you are with them.

Then having got some friends build relationship, which only comes by spending time together. My best friend is Catrina, my wife, and I know that if we're to build our relationship together that means spending regular time together. That doesn't come by accident, but only as a result of us planning it in advance. Do you need to plan some more time into your diary to be with people who do you good?

Finally friendships will also at times hit problems. That's not the moment to run away, but to face up to the issues and seek to restore the relationship - working your way through the Matthew 18 steps.

Good friendships don't happen by accident. So what decisions do you need to make in 2010 to have a better set of friendships at the end than at the start? I sometimes meet people who come to me and say something like "This church is so unfriendly, nobody ever talks to me". God places the initiative with you to make good friendships happen, rather than just sitting back waiting for other people to take the first step.

So may your friendships prosper in 2010!

Simon.

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