Summary: What will it take to make friends, keep friends and influence friends for Christ?

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INTRO. – Everyone needs friends. Even a variety of friends.

ILL.- Show a variety of shoes. Each shoe is for a different occasion, etc. (running or tennis shoes, casual, dress shoes, fishing shoes, etc.)

Likewise, in some ways, we have friends for different areas of our lives. We have casual friends, close friends, work friends, social friends, etc.

ILL.- Jessica, 31, of Dix Hills, New York, said, "When I feel low, I always think, ’Well, I have a friend who is this and a friend who is that -- the super-successful impressive friend, the crazy creative friend, the beyond-loyal friend, the since-seventh-grade friend’ -- and it makes me feel better to be able to say, ’I am so good at having friends that I’ve got them in all different shapes and sizes!’"

All of us do have friends in different shapes and sizes. It’s possible that we just never thought about it in this way. Someone has suggested that we all need at least six types of friends.

The Work Friend.

Having an office pal or work friend can boost productivity, makes the day go faster, and make your work more fun.

ILL.- Sylvia, 36, of Brookline, Massachusetts, say her work friend is the only reason she survives her "heinous job" at all.

The Friend in Your Kid’s Class.

ILL.- One mother said, "My messy self really doesn’t fit in at times. Thank goodness for Lara, the one other mom like me, and the only one I can hang out with at the science fair." Of course, this the kind of friend with which you can compare notes on what is happening at school with your kids.

The Friend Who’s Known You Forever.

This friendship is or can be priceless. They keep memories alive and share them with you. Some are as close as a brother or sister. They are a security blanket to us.

ILL.- Since moving to Jonesboro I’ve reconnected with an old 1962 classmate of mine. Larry and June Roberts live in Doniphan, MO, and come to Jonesboro to the dentist. Out of the blue one day he called and said, “Let’s have lunch together.” And we’ve been doing that every time they come to Jonesboro. And it’s great to go back and reminisce about our high school days.

I haven’t known Larry forever, but it’s well over 40 years and that’s a long friendship. The funny thing is…we’re better friends now than back then. Of course, probably my best friend who’s known me forever is my twin sister and believe it or not, she still loves me.

The Hobby Buddy.

You call this friend when you want to catch a movie, go eat, play golf, go shopping, fishing, hunting, walking, etc.

ILL.- Many people in our church miss Jerry Rhodes. He was a good hunting friend to B.J., Red and perhaps others. This past summer Jerry and I became closer friends as fishing buddies. We all need hobby buddies or friends like Jerry. They are fun to be with, laugh with, and just hang with.

The Straight-Talking Friend.

We all probably need someone who’s honest, gets to the heart of the problem, and doesn’t sugarcoat things. However, such a friend must be or should be someone who speaks the truth in love. Otherwise, their frankness can be brutal.

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