You can pick your friends. Can you really?
We do pick the people who are closest to us, but along the way there are people we grow close to that encourage us and make our lives much better. I am so grateful for the people that God puts in my life.
Proverbs 18:24 NLT
There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.
Let me tell you about a few of the people who make me better. No, I will not call them by name, and there is not room here, or almost anywhere, no enough time to tell you about the many, many people who I call friend that I cherish. But a few of them that come to mind I will share about.
There’s a guy I have been doing ministry with for well over 10 years. We don’t see each other but maybe a couple times a month. Yet this man’s integrity and huge heart make him one of the people that I respect and call on for wisdom on a regular basis. His faith and his loyalty to God and to His friends is inspiring.
Another friend that sticks out to me is one I served near for several years but only got to know the last couple of years. This dude works harder than most of the pastors I know. He’s bi-vocational which means he is a pastor and works a full time job. His heart is as big as I have ever seen, and he loves people and stays close to God’s word. I see this guys every few months. He inspires me big time.
In our town there is a lady I met several years ago that doesn’t attend our church, but she loves to serve. We love some of the same books and writers, and it is amazing to talk about what we learn from reading. But what is even more amazing is how I have watched this lady and her family serve. I love her heart for hurting people. Her heart is similar to my heart for those who live in poverty. She encourages me to do more.
Romans 15:2 NLT
We should help others do what is right and build them up in the Lord.
There is a guy in our church that I used to spend a good deal of time, but we don’t get to see each other much any more. But when I do see him at church or run in to him in town there are words of wisdom and love flowing from him that makes me proud to be his pastor and his friend.
Through the years I have worked and served with some incredible people. The best of friends may not be the ones who you see the most. This person lives a long way off, but every time we talk I learn so much. Their wisdom and love for people makes me want to dig my feet in and do so much more. When we worked together, it was incredible what we could accomplish. Now I love hearing how God is using them to accomplish more than we ever did together. I’m encouraged, inspired and so much more plus miss them and their family very much.
Jude 1:20 NLT
But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit,
Some of those friends who encourage us the most share some of the same DNA or maybe a marriage license. My wife inspires me to be a better man, a stronger pastor and a great father and husband. My dad and my brother inspire me more as I get older. Just hearing their voice or sharing what’s going on in our lives from time to time helps me do more and be more confident.
We all need friends. And like I said before I could tell you about more people in my life, but these are just a few that I cherish in my life who make me better. In fact in the last few weeks working with our winter / warming shelter I have met many more incredible people that encourage me. I cannot wait to see who else God brings my direction and how we, working together and inspiring each, together make a bigger impact on this world because we chose to be part of God’s church.
Friends are important. Life is meant to be shared. That makes us better!