LIFE IN THE FAMILY, Week 3, Get Friendship Right

Life in the Family, Series

Get Friendship Right

Impact Christian, Pastor Steve

If we get our Families right, it sets us up for success in every area of life that matters.  Good gave us families for our benefit, so that we may prosper in life.

Week 1, Honoring Our Mother’s… May 12

Week 2, Healing Our Hurts….   May 19

Week 3, Get Friendship Right, May 26

I. GET FRIENDSHIPS RIGHT

There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24

We can develop friends that help us in our our family, and are part of our families.  You know if we get the friendship part of our families correct, it has a very powerful impact on us. 

Get friendships right—sets you up for success in every important area.

Get them wrong—more pain and destruction than you can imagine.

Getting the issue of friends right in your family can help the family grow and everyone in the family be a part of it.  Let me say it this way…

  • SHOW ME YOUR FRIENDS & I’LL SHOW YOU YOUR FUTURE

You show me the people that you spend the most time with and I will clearly show you the trajectory of your life.

In fact, Solomon, 1000’s of years ago said the same thing,

Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble. Pro 13:20

If you hang out with people who are good, wise, solid in marriage, earning wisely, leading and following others, then that’s what will happen to you and you will be a healthier part of your family life.   

If you hang out with a bunch of crooks, a bunch of partiers, those people who get in trouble, they’re going to drag you down to where they are.

  • SHOW ME YOUR FRIENDS & I’LL SHOW YOU YOUR FUTURE

In my life my friends were a huge blessing and still are.  They encouraged, pushed, challenged and helped me follow the Lord. 

On the other side, I also had friends who were bad influences. Who knows what I’m talking about?…

Any success I have had or will have—it is God using my family and the right friends to influence me.

II. YOUR CLOSEST FRIENDS

I have a point I want to make here.  I think that our closest friends help us grow great families.  To prove this point, I want you to take a moment and list your closest friends. Don’t think about it too much, just start writing them down it right now. List your closest friends.

LIST YOUR CLOSEST FRIENDS (Family Doesn’t Count)

As you are writing, I want to tell you something that sociologists and leadership experts say, something that I learned at Westmont College,  “You are the average of your closest friends.” There now you see my sociology major. 

What are your friends about …finances, make up, partying, sports, shopping, faith, automobiles, etc. You will be about each other!!

Like it or notwe become like those we hang with.  Now, if you’re pursuing God, with all of your heart, chances are, three or four of those people on your list are pursuing God with all their heart as well.

As you look at those you listed, the question kind of arises: Are you hanging with the right people? Do you want to become like those that you are with? Or would you look and say, “If I really want to please God, maybe I don’t have the best influences around me.” 

Don’t be fooled by those who say such things, for “bad company corrupts good character.” 1 Corinthians 15:33

Or Maybe this is your verse…

My friends scorn me, but I pour out my tears to God. Job 16:20

Think about every area of your life.

  • You want to have a good marriage? Are you hanging with people with a good marriage?
  • Do you want to be stronger relationships with your sisters? Do you hang with people who are good at making friends? 
  • Do you want to be stronger spiritually? Do you hang with spiritually strong people? 
  • Do you want to get in better shape? Are you hanging out with people who eat Twinkies?  By the way they are $2.99 at Target.
  • You show me your friends and I will show you your future.

Now, let’s define friendship so we can use this as a baseline definition…

III. FRIENDSHIP DEFINED

“A friend is someone you may or may not know well who accepts your friend request on Facebook. This person is born to like and comment on your posts to make you feel good about yourself.” Pros 17:17 iccv

Okay? So that’s not real. But you have to admit that Facebook is having a real impact on how we define friendships today.  Maybe too much.

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity. Proverbs 17:17 niv

Great Friends build Great Families…for decades

  • You end up knowing their spouses and investing in their children,
  • You have a close connection spiritually, where you learn from them and they learn from you, and you make each other better
  • They love you enough to tell you the truth when you’re doing something stupid.
  • They are with you to celebrate in the good times and they’re there to cry with you in the times where you hurt.
  • What if you had a community of people like that, that stayed with you for decades? “A friend loves at all times.”

IV. WHY ARE FRIENDSHIPS DECLINING?

I’ll give you the top three reasons…

  1. INCREASING WORK HOURS. We are connected all the time. We’re working all the time. People are working so much, they’re not developing relationships.
  2. RISING DIVORCE RATES.   Friendships and Families are hurt because of divorce. Studies show divorces are hard on families, AND they’re hard on friendships. “You get this money and you get that money.” “And he gets the kids on this day and she gets the kids on this day.” “And he gets that friend and she gets that friend.” Because, friends then take sides and friendships break down.
  3. EXPLOSION OF SOCIAL MEDIA. I am not against social media; there’s lot of great uses. I personally regularly use Facebook and occasionally Twitter and Instagram.
  • I like to stay connected with people and there are a lot of benefits. But whatever you think about social media, you have to acknowledge that social media is redefining the way we define how we think about friends.
  • The more we get involved, the more we crave face to face, personal depth in my relationships.
  • Truthfully social media can destroy families and friends…Be careful with it.  They provide the…
  • Illusion of intimacy. Counterfeit to what God intended.

The seeds of good deeds become a tree of life; a wise person wins friends. Proverbs 11:30

V. REDISCOVERING THE LOST ART OF FRIENDSHIP

1. BE PRESENT—Let’s develop friendship face to face!!

Jesus didn’t say, “Come and read this book.”  He Said… “Come follow me.” In other words, “Let’s do life together. Let’s journey together. Let’s wake up in the morning, have breakfast together…Follow me…Be present.” 

  • Even in one of Jesus’ last time with his disciples, they sat on the beach and He made breakfast for them.

The writer of Hebrews said something that has been true throughout history, and couldn’t have been any more prophetic for our time…

Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.  Hebrews 10:24-25

  • There is Power in Presence. I am praying for you I am praying with you!!!   Present physically and emotionally!

The seeds of good deeds become a tree of life; a wise person wins friends. Proverbs 11:30

2. GET OPEN — Open Up and Be Transparent

? We may impress people with our strengths but we connect with people through our weaknesses.  Let’s share our weaknesses!!!

16 Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. James 5:16

  • It’s when we’re transparent, it’s when we’re vulnerable, it’s when we drop the online persona and the image and we say,

“Here’s what I’m going through, man.”  “Here’s what makes me afraid.”

“Here’s where we’re struggling in our marriage.”

“Here’s the temptation that I can’t seem to overcome.”

“Here’s the fear that I continue to have.” 

That’s it, that’s Open!

  • You show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.
  • The good news, no matter where you are, God can bring the right people into your life, but it’s not going to happen by accident. It’s going to happen on purpose.  Follow his lead in Friendship!

VI. 3 FRIENDS EVERYONE NEEDS

As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. Pro 27:17

David wasn’t perfect.  He was a man after God’s heart.  Known for successes and significant failures.  However, His friends are what he needed most…

1. SAMUEL: A FRIEND WHO MAKES YOU BETTER.

God has rejected Saul as king, however he chose Samuel, a prophet, to anoint the next king.

12 And the Lord said, “This is the one; anoint him.”

13 So as David stood there among his brothers, Samuel took the flask of olive oil he had brought and anointed David with the oil. And the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David from that day on. 1 Sam 16:12-13

  • Not a person in David’s family who would have thought he’d be king.  God put it on Samuel’s Heart.
  • Buddies from office, Guys at gym, Mom’s soccer team, Eng Lit Class

Do they make you better?

2. JONATHAN: A FRIEND WHO HELPS YOU FIND SPIRITUAL STRENGTH.

David anointed next king. War hero. Saul slain 1000’s. David 10k!  King Saul is overwhelmed with jealousy & hatred.

15 While David was at Horesh in the Desert of Ziph, he learned that Saul had come out to take his life. 16 And Saul’s son Jonathan went to David at Horesh and helped him find strength in God. 1 Samuel 23:15-16

  • Even those closest to God, get tempted, discouraged, feel down and alone…we all need friends who comfort us and encourage us with the Word, Encourages you with scripture, Prays for you!

3. NATHAN: A FRIEND WHO TELLS YOU THE TRUTH.

David had really blown it.  He had committed adultery and had ordered a murder.  He had to to be confronted.

7 Then Nathan said to David, “You are that man!” 2 Sam 12:7

Do you have friends who would say…Go ahead and jump! Do that—you might end up in hospital.”

How is your faith going?  Are you growing?  Are you in the Word?

Do you have friends who walk with you through tough times?

Do you have friends who tell yo the Truth?

5 An open rebuke is better than hidden love!  Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy. Proverbs 27:5-6

David had great Friends!!  Do you?  Let’s build them together!  As a Church body!

Let’s End the way we started…

I. Get friendship right

? SHOW ME YOUR FRIENDS & I’LL SHOW YOU YOUR FUTURE

Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble. Pro 13:20

Get friendships right—sets you up for success in every important area.

Get them wrong—more pain and destruction than you can imagine.

Pray, “Heavenly Father, forgive me of my sins. Make me brand new. Today, I turn to you and I trust in you to be the Savior of my life and my Lord. God, make me your friend that I could show your love in every way to my family and to my friends.  Help me build strong, godly friends for my future. Thank you for my new life in you. Today, I give you mine. In Jesus name, I pray.”