Summary: Are you a trusted friend?

Friends and enemies. Are you a friend or enemy? How can we tell which from which? Some things are rather obvious. Some are not so obvious.

ILL.- Pepper Rogers, coach of UCLA’s football team suffered through a poor season back in the 1970’s. He came under intense criticism and pressure from alumni and fans. Things got so bad that he felt as if all his friends were gone. “My dog was my only true friend,” he said. “I told my wife that every man needs at least two good friends–and she bought me another dog.”

ILL.- Someone said, “Nothing in the world is friendlier than a wet dog.” Isn’t that the truth?

ILL.- Hettie Green was an infamous millionaire. She lived in seclusion and became a virtual recluse. She had only a few friends and an ugly mongrel dog that kept biting the few friends she did have.

One of them said, "You’ve got to get rid of that dog." Hettie refused. She said, "That dog loves me and he doesn’t even know how rich I am."

Hmm, could that be a clue as to what a true friend is? He or she loves me whether I’m rich or poor or whatever!

ILL.- The story is told that during his days as president, Thomas Jefferson and a group of companions were traveling across the country on horseback. They came to a river, which had left its banks because of a recent downpour. The swollen river had washed the bridge away. Each rider was forced to ford the river on horseback, fighting for his life against the rapid currents.

The very real possibility of death threatened each rider. After several had plunged in and made it to the other side, the stranger asked President Jefferson if he would take him across the river. The president agreed without hesitation. The man climbed on, and shortly thereafter the two of them made it safely to the other side.

As the stranger slid off the back of the saddle onto dry ground, one in the group asked him, "Tell me, why did you ask the president to take you across the river?" The man was shocked, admitting he had no idea it was the president who had helped him. "All I know," he said, "Is that on some of your faces was written the answer ’No,’ and on some of them was the answer ’yes.’ His was a ’Yes’ face."

Could it be that the person who becomes a friend or perhaps a “best” friend is the person who has a “yes” face?

A “yes” face to me indicates someone who is there for you. They are supportive, regardless of the pain and suffering you are experiencing. They are even supportive when you fail or sin. They want to help you, bless you, lift you up, build up, not blister or burden you.

Don’t you wish everybody had a “Yes” face?

Here are some scriptures that indicate a “yes” face to me.

Rom. 12:10 “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.”

Rom. 12:13 “Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”

Rom. 12:14 “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.”

Rom. 12:15 “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.”

Rom. 12:16 “Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.”

Rom. 12:17 “Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.”

Rom. 12:20 “On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head."

Rom. 14:1 “Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters.”

Rom. 14:19 “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.”

Rom. 15:1-2 “We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. 2Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.”

We all need to be in the positive mode and mood of building people up. The “yes” mode of being helpful.

Gal. 6:2 “Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.” KJV

Gal. 6:9-10 “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”

Eph. 4:29 “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”

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