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Summary: Insights about friendship from the book of Proverbs.

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Today’s message is the last installment in our series from the book of Proverbs. We’ve been looking all this month at the God-given wisdom that helps us lead happier and more successful lives. So far we’ve looked at:

How we talk – which plays a big role on our fulfillment in life – if we talk right we’ll live better.

How to jumpstart a breakthrough - which basically happens when we couple an attitude of love with actions of faithfulness.

On Father’s Day we covered how to overcome lust and lost tempters.

And last week we learned the 7 biggest money mistakes we need to avoid.

These are the issues that God emphasizes in the wisdom literature of the Bible. He’s letting us know where we really need to apply godly insight and understanding if we want to lead happy and successful lives.

Our text for this series has been Proverbs 2:2-4 (NLT).

2 Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. 3 Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding. 4 Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures.

Re-read those verses of Scripture out loud with me.

2 Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. 3 Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding. 4 Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures.

I encourage you to continue THE SEARCH for God’s wisdom once we conclude this series today. May it be a lifelong pursuit!

To whet your appetite here’s one more important issue, which the Holy-Spirit-inspired Word of God imparts wisdom on – 6 Ways to be a Better Friend and Neighbor.

I’m talking to you about this today because God talks about it in Proverbs. It’s a major topic, just like the others we’ve ruminated about in this series. God knew we would need insights on these important relationships outside of our biological family.

Sadly, our culture today is a lot less conducive to friendships and neighborliness that it used to be. We know some of the reasons. The average American moves every five years; people drive straight into their garages, hire lawn services; and hang out in their back yards instead of their front porches.

Whatever the causes, we tend to be missing out on the full benefit of one of life’s greatest God-given privileges. We tend to have fewer and less satisfying friendships and we’re suffering for it.

God created us with the longing for community. Friends and neighbors are important to God’s plan for our well being. That’s why Tom Hanks talked to a volleyball named “Wilson” in the movie Castaway. We’ve all gotta have someone to talk to.

The Bible says…

"… a true friend is closer than your own family." Proverbs 18:24 (CEV)

We need family and this Proverb isn’t belittling that fact. But sometimes family can’t or won’t do for us what a friend can or will.

If we can learn God’s wisdom in our relationships with our friends and neighbors we can enjoy some tremendous closeness with other human beings just as God intended. Our level of fulfillment and happiness in life will increase.

Leslie Parrot has this to say about friendship from the book Relationships: “Friends make the ordinary-running errands or eating lunch, for example, extraordinarily fun. And good friends ease our pain and lighten our heavy load…Not only are friends good for the soul but for the body as well. Friends help us ward off depression, boost our immune system, lower our cholesterol, increase the odds of surviving coronary disease, and keep stress hormones in check. A half dozen top medical studies now bear this out. Their findings didn’t seem to be influenced by other conditions or habits such as obesity, smoking, drinking, or exercise. The thing that mattered most was friends. What’s more, research is showing that you can extend your life expectancy by having the right kind of friends.”


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Tom Summers

commented on Jul 23, 2016

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