Four Great Friends
There is a story of four bulls that were great friends. They went everywhere together, fed together, and laid down to rest together, always keeping so close to each other that if any danger was near they could all face it at once. Now there was a lion which had determined to have them but he could never get at them singly. He was a match for any one alone, but not for all four at once. However, he used to watch for his opportunity and, and when one lagged the least bit behind the others as they grazed, he would slink up and whisper that the other bulls had been saying unkind things about him. This he did so often that at last the four friends became uneasy. Each thought the other three were plotting against him. Finally, as there was no trust among them, they went off by themselves, their friendship broken. This was what the lion wanted. One by one he killed them, & made four good meals.
- Friendship is very important; even if your not a bull!
- They enjoyed their great friendship
- The lion whispered words of mistrust, that severed their friendship
- They were no match for the lion on their own, and did not survive on their own
- We all need friends
Two Are Better than One
- Life is designed for companionship & friendship, not isolation or loneliness
- Some people choose isolation when they’re hurt or disappointed; No longer trust,
- We were not created for isolation, but for friendship
- Two are better than one. Strength in numbers
Q – Do you honestly believe that?
- 12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
- It is easy to break a cord of one strand
- Two strands are better because the extra strand makes the first strand stronger and
- A cord of three strands even stronger
- This speaks to the benefit of having close knit relationships to support us in life
Friendships Bring a Good Return because they have a good return for their work (9)
- “A good return” means dividends paid on a wise investment
- One of the best investment you will ever make in life will be relationships.
- If we decide to focus on building relationships, trying to make friends and to be a friend, we will have a good return
C. Friends Can Help us Up When We Fall
If one falls down, his friend can help him up (10).
A man fell into a pit and couldn”t get himself out.
A subjective person came along and said, “I feel for you down there.” An objective person came along and said, “It”s logical that someone would fall down there.”
A Christian Scientist came along and said, “You only think you are in the pit.” A Pharisee said, “Only bad people fall into pits.”
A news reporter wanted the exclusive story on his pit. A fundamentalist said, “You deserve your pit.” Confucius said, “If you would have listened to me, you would not be in Buddha said, “Your pit is only a state of mind.” A realist said, “That”s a pit!” A scientist calculated the pressure necessary (lbs./ sq. in.) to get him out of the pit. A geologist told him to appreciate the rock strata in the pit. A tax man asked if he was paying taxes on the pit. The Council Inspector asked if he had a permit to dig a pit.
An evasive person came along and avoided the subject of his pit altogether. A self-pitying person said, “You haven”t seen my pit!” An optimist said, “Things could have been worse.” A pessimist said, “Things will get worse.”
His Friend, seeing him in need, took him by the hand and lifted him out of the pit.
- There will be times we will fall and need help
- At some point, you will get knocked you down.
- It could be an unexpected career setback, lose your job
- A health problem or a family members health.
- Family problems; parents, spouse, kids, siblings
- You may be the object of slander or gossip.
- Struggle in your faith – discouraged, faithless
- Get stuck with men will also arouse your interest. – Not able to change something in your character
- If you’re alone emotionally and relationally, then you are going to be in trouble.
- Difficult to get back up
- God didn’t intend for us to face the struggles alone
- We need friends
To walk with us and offer support & encouragement
- To share our joys and sorrows.
- To give perspective when we don’t understand what’s happening
- To remind us of God’s goodness & faithfulness.
- To pick us back up on your feet when we get knocked you down.
But pity the man who falls and has no one to help them up (10).
- What a pity. It doesn’t have to be like that
- At times we wonder why no one is helping when we fall.
- At times we need to ask, How well have I invested?
“People that focus on how they can be great friends will always have friends. People who focus on how people need to be friends to them will always feel lacking”
To build real friendships:
1. Invest Your time Wisely.
Life is busy in this fast pace world – family, work, school, activities, grocery shopping, home repairs, cleaning. Time is valuable. Invest it wisely
2. Choose Your Friends Wisely
- Spiritual Friends
Prov. 12:26 – A righteous man is cautious in friendship
- Spiritually we need friends with spiritual values
- To be open about sin/Keep you on a spiritual path
- ii. Friends who are Givers, not just Takers
Reality: there are people who are givers and takers
- Takers – emotional gas tank empty. Leave drained.
- Givers – They fill our tank
- You can befriend a taker, but you need to have people who can give to you or you will
- Friends who are able to help you up.
- Friends who can encourage, rather than discourage
- If you want encouragement, you know where to go
3. Choose to Be Vulnerable
- About our feelings, thoughts and actions. Invest all your heart
- Share the good, the bad and the ugly.
- Not allow mistrust, hurt, fear or anything else to hold us back from forming real lasting
4. Choose to Be a Friend
- Focus on how to be a great friend, and you will always have friends.
- Befriend people according to their needs
- Do you have real friends or acquaintances?
- Do you have spiritual friends that you are open with, help each other, walk side by
- Choose to have friends, choose wisely, and surround yourself with people who are going to help you.