PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• My husband and I are leaving for Cincinnati this morning so we can attend Wayne’s dad’s memorial service tomorrow. And as friends have checked in with us over the last week, we’ve been asked the standard question many people are asked when they prepare to travel—“Who will watch the dog and cats?”
Thankfully, our very dear friend Melinda loves animals. Because we know a lot of the same people, I’ve been asked a couple of times about whether I think she’d pet sit for them too. I called Melinda yesterday and said, “I think I’ve accidentally started you a side business.”
We are blessed to have many people in our lives who would happily come and take care of our dog and four cats but could not do it as easily as Melinda can. To be able to leave town and trust our home and pets to our friend just eliminates an entire level of stress. It also helps to know that our dog adores her (the cats don’t care who you are as long as you clean their litter box, feed them, and give them catnip and treats).
Proverbs 17:17 CSB is one of many verses that speak of friendship. It says, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a difficult time.” As an only child, I can’t speak to the latter. But I can to the former. And I am so thankful to have some amazing, wonderful, loving friends!
We know how to identify a good friend, but sometimes I wonder if we ever turn that mirror inward and ask ourselves, “Am I a good friend to others?” “Do I show my friends that they matter?” “Do I bring godly love and encouragement to my friends?”
It’s important for us to self-reflect on these questions. If we want to have good friends, then we need to be a good friend. We can find guidance in the Word. I’m just hitting on a few:
“And we exhort you, brothers and sisters: warn those who are idle, comfort the discouraged, help the weak, be patient with everyone” (1 Thessalonians 5:14 CSB).
“Above all, maintain constant love for one another, since love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaining. Just as each one has received a gift, use it to serve others, as good stewards of the varied grace of God” (1 Peter 4:8-10 CSB).
“Love one another deeply as brothers and sisters. Outdo one another in showing honor” (Romans 12:10 CSB).
And follow the words of Paul, “I give thanks to my God for every remembrance of you, always praying with joy for all of you in my every prayer” (Philippians 1:3-4 CSB).
The summed up list of how to be a good friend? The basic litmus test includes: comfort, help, patience, words of caution and warning, love, hospitality, sharing, service, honor, and prayer.
Today, as you pray, thank Jesus for His friendship. For being the One who followed His own words in John 15:13, “No one has greater love than this: to lay down his life for his friends” (CSB). Thank God for the friends He has placed in your life. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you be a good friend to others.