Summary: What will it take to make friends, keep friends and influence friends for Christ?
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.
For the Christian, our motivation in life should always be love: love for the Lord and love for others. If we don’t speak from a heart of love then we shouldn’t speak.
ILLUSTRATION- I have a Christian friend in southern IL I can ALWAYS count on, through thick and thin, good and bad. He was there when I had my hip replaced seven years ago. He took off work and was there for me. He was also there at other times and wasn’t afraid to tell me what he thought whether I liked it or not, but I always knew he loved me.
The Feel-Good Friend.
We all need a cheerleader who believes in us. Such a friend rejoices with you when you rejoice and weeps with you when you weep. WHAT A GREAT FRIEND TO HAVE!
ILLUSTRATION- Paula, 36, of New York City said, "My spirits are lifted the moment I hear my friend Rachel’s voice. She never belittles me, or says dopey things like, ’You’ll get over it.’ She really knows how much better people feel when someone just listens."
Everyone needs someone who believes in them and gives them encouragement in life.
E. Hubbard said, “A true friend is the person who knows all about you, and still likes you.”
PROP.- I want us to think about making friends, keeping friends, and influencing friends. What will it take?
I. MAKING FRIENDS
Proverbs 18:24 KJV “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly…”
NKJV “A man who has friends must himself be friendly.”