If you were ever a Girl Scout, you might remember the song

Make new friends, make new friends

but keep the old

one is silver

and the other is gold

 

I recently had the pleasure to be a a team for a weekend retreat (Chrysalis Flight #105).  It was sooooo fun! I made a lot of new friends and I hope to keep them all. There was dancing. There were makeovers and hairstyling (Pastors Bob and Chet were subjected to purple and pink dyed hair, make up, and nail polish!) There was even a marshmallow fight. I’m pretty sure one of the pastors there started it!

At the weekend, we talked about a lot of things – study, prayer, action, God’s love and grace and gifts. I gave a short talk on single life – in which I actually had to prepare to say something. One thing that I would want anyone to know about single life is that it isn’t empty. It isn’t lonely (usually). If you make a lot of friends and build relationships with friends, it can be a very full life.

So, I thought about what my friend told me about the types of friends to have. I loved it and wanted to share.

Make good friends –

  • a Paul – a person who teaches you. Someone like a youth leader, a pastor, a person whose faith walk is what you’d love to have.
  • a Timothy – a person who you can teach and encourage.  Timothy is called a co-worker as well as a teacher later on, so Timothy’s don’t always stay as the one being taught but who learns and also becomes strong in faith.
  • a Barnabas – a person who encourages you. As it says in Provers 27:17, “as iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another”  – the story of Barnabas starts in Acts 4 and is mostly found from Acts 9 through Acts 15 and also discussed briefly in Galatians 2.

In the work world, we “network” in order to climb the corporate ladder. Ugh.

In the church, we are asked to be loving and kind and though we are not to love the world, we are asked to be part of it. No one should be greater than another. Not even pastors are closer to the throne of God than us “regular” folks. As it is said, the ground is level at the foot of the cross.

Even so, we need friends that help keep us on the path. If we make good choices, we will have those that we can trust to help us. More importantly, we have one true friend that will be there even when all the others fall away.

Jesus said:

You are my friends if you do what I command. 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. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit —fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. – John 15:14-16

I’m not advocating that all of our friends be of the same denomination or even of the same faith. Diversity is a good thing. Our friends can help us learn and grow and we should be open to learning new things and making friends that we can share our lives with.

Make new friends – but keep the old – one is silver and the other is gold.

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