Friday, August 30, 2013

Friends Part II

I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.  John 15:15

There was a song by Carole King in the 70’s called You’ve Got a Friend. It promised "Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall; all you’ve got to do is call--and I’ll be there." If that song was written today, it’d go, "Winter Spring, Summer and Fall; all you’ve got to do is call--and I’ll be there…2 weeks from Thursday. I’ll put you in my Day Planner."  Friendship in America has become an optional part of life for millions. Part of it is the pace of life in the rat race. It’s the pace of life we live. And a lot of us aren’t willing to make the changes necessary to make friends a higher priority.

The circumstances of our lives create little opportunity to make friends.  Every 24 hours over 100,000 people move. 70% of Americans say they always feel rushed. More time commuting, second job, second families, work--there’s little time left. We don’t have time to build deep lasting friendships.  Oh, sure we can all have acquaintances. The average person living in the city has an acquaintance pool of over 500-2000 people (relatives, neighbors, co-workers, customers, etc)--but only 4-5 real friends.

Health Warning Label: Friends Save Lives
Several studies show how important friendships are to long life.  A study in California compared people’s social ties and found that they could predict people’s mortality rates.  People who scored low on relationships were twice as likely to die as persons who scored high, even after taking into account a person’s health habits.  A large study at the University of Michigan found that lack of social relationships is statistically just as dangerous as smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and lack of exercise.  In other words it found that friendships were lifesaving. It even said that getting a pet, or a fish helped.

Friends Affect Our Financial Success.
Studies have shown that financial success is due 15% to technical knowledge, and 85% due to relationships.  If you are a friendly person and can make friends, it usually increases your chances for success.  One of America’s wealthiest people for his time was Andrew Carnegie.  He paid Charles Schwab $3000 a day. Why? Because he knew more about steel than most people? No. Because he knew how to relate with people. He aroused enthusiasm and teamwork in others.  He was genuine, friendly, and complimentary.  These relational traits earned him millions.

Life is Relationships: if you can’t handle relationships, you can’t handle life.

While we seek to add wealth and knowledge to our lives to find happiness and peace, there is nothing that can replace what a friend brings to our lives.  Sadly, people in the world with great wealth or fame are some of the loneliest people in the world.  They would probably trade much of their wealth for a friend.  Today you might step away from the chaos of life and make a call, send a message or go have lunch with a friend.  Your day and your life will be the better for it.  And remember that God wants to be your friend as well.  Ex 33:11 "The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend."

Scripture to Claim:
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends. John 15:13 

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