Friends Bring Joy to the Heart

Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart,
and the pleasantness of a friend
springs from their heartfelt advice.

Proverbs 27: 9

Friends…acquaintances, business colleagues, email buddies, neighbors, Facebook connections, phone contacts, confidants, church comrades, accountability partners…friends have many faces and play a variety of roles and functions within our lives.

When I joined my church a few years ago I was looking for a place to worship, grow as a Christian, and to develop a closer relationship with God…that vertical relationship. But I also was seeking those horizontal relationships and interactions…friends.

Initially I joined a small group that met on Sunday morning as I wanted to get to know the church family from the inside. It was there I formed strong bonds and relationships; people I can go to for advice, pray and fellowship with, and count on when times are tough.

Being sick recently, the prayers and support of my church family meant a great deal to me.

If you are attending church but not participating in any groups within the church you are missing out on developing these types of strong kindred connections.

During our lifetimes we will experience traumas…emotional, physical, and spiritual. When this happens to you, who will you turn to in your time of need? And who will know you well enough to seek your support?

If you are missing out on the pleasantness of a friend, ask what you can do differently. Perhaps you can join a group within your church where you can serve and be a friend to others. Soon you should discover rewarding relationships within your church community.

If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.

Ecclesiastes 4:10

Over the years I have been blessed with friends that have walked beside me in my times of need. They have been there when I have stumbled, lifted me up and provided me with advice and comfort. These relationships are precious to me.

But more importantly when I have been the one to provide advice, comfort, and to offer my friend a boost when they have stumbled…it is then that I have found the greatest joy. Being a friend is more about giving than receiving. Give more of yourself and you will find friends.

Most recently I have been on the receiving end of my friends’ comfort. It is because of the outpouring of love from them I write this today. I am so thankful for each of their calls, cards, love and concern. But it is with great anticipation and delight that I await my opportunity to be my friends’ comforter and confidant…to lift them up.

I relish the fact that I have been blessed with such wonderful friends who are like perfume and incense bringing joy to my heart.

Lord, help me to be a friend that loves at all times. I ask that my counsel be considered sweet to my friends and that I remember to pray for them daily. Father, God, show me how to be a better friend…Amen


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