Summary: Unfortunately one of the things people will sometimes share with you and me is this: I don't have very many friends. Perhaps you have said that before. Or we may say you know I'm hurt. I thought they were my friend and I can't believe they did that to

“Making Friends”

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Friends song

You have most likely heard those words before …, It's Making your way in the world today takes everything you've got. Taking a break from all your worries sure would help a lot. Wouldn't you like to get away? Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name and they're always glad you came. You wanna be where you can see, our troubles are all the same. You wanna be where everybody knows your name.

And it’s true, isn’t it? But at the same time isn't it sad that this song was written about a bar instead of about a church. Solomon and David remind us that one of the best investments we will ever make in life is an investment in people, in making friends. When he says two are better than one because they have a good reward for their labor-the word reward can also be translated return. It means dividends on a wise investment. The very best investment you will ever make in life will not be a financial one, although we are going to talk about that in this series, but the best investment you and I can make is in relationships. You see as we go through life there are 2 kinds of things we can give our lives to. We can try to accumulate more and more stuff. The late Malcolm Forbes said he who dies with the most toys wins. Now that Forbes has passed away he certainly knows that is not true. If we spend all of our life trying to get more and more we will never be fulfilled; we will never find real happiness. So this is a definite area where we all need guardrails.

On the other hand we can focus on building relationships...making friends and being a friend to others.

Unfortunately one of the things people will sometimes share with you and me is this: I don't have very many friends. Perhaps you have said that before. Or we may say you know I'm hurt. I thought they were my friend and I can't believe they did that to me. Listen to this: Proverbs 18:24 says A man who has friends must show himself friendly.

Let me tell you what the scripture says that a real friend looks like. 4 things a real friend can do for others.

1. A real friend picks us up when we fall down. V. 10

Most of us have a lot of people in our lives that we would call acquaintances. That would be a long list.

Real friends-a much shorter one. Now if you don't know the difference in a friend and an acquaintance here is how you figure it out...just get into trouble. Then look around. The people that are still there are your friends...the others are acquaintances. A real friend is the kind of person if you call them at 2 AM and tell them you need them they don=t ask why, they just show up....right then. That's a friend. Proverbs 17:17 NLT.

2. A real friends warms us up when we are cold. V.11 This passage is not just about keeping someone physically warm. When I say that we often live in a very cold world most of us understand that I=m not talking about the weather. These are those circumstances when we are facing a battle of How am I going to make it right now? And there is never a time when we need a friend more than right then. There are at least 3 times when we can really use these friends.

* when we are having relationship problems

* when we are having health problems

* when we are having financial problems

The reality of life is that we encounter a lot of people who when we spend time with them they send our emotional gas gauge all the way over to empty. We leave completely drained. Thankfully there are also those who when we spend time with them the gas gauge goes all the way over to full. Every one of us fall into 1 of these 2 categories. We are either encouragers or discouragers. And if you are a discourager you probably won't have very many friends. Some of us discourage other people without realizing it. If every word out of our mouth is setting someone straight or telling them how they can improve themselves or telling them 5 things that are wrong with them then we have a problem. We won't win friends and influence people that way.

3. A real friend will fight for us and for our reputation.

V. 12 When these words were written down by Solomon most of the military strategy at that time was hand to hand combat. So soldiers went into battle with a partner-someone they could count on . The soldiers would stand back to back with one another. In this way they could say AI got your back.@ A real friend does not stab you in the back, they guard your back. A real friend will not put up with gossip about their friend. Let me give you a definition of gossip. Gossip is when someone says something bad or something unkind about someone who is not present, whether it is true or not.

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