Are You Content within Your Circle of Friends & Family, Proverbs 27:7-11
A person who is full tramples on a honeycomb, but to a hungry person, any bitter thing is sweet. A man wandering from his home is like a bird wandering from its nest. Oil and incense bring joy to the heart, and the sweetness of a friend is better than self-counsel. Don’t abandon your friend or your father’s friend, and don’t go to your brother’s house in your time of calamity; better a neighbor nearby than a brother far away. Be wise, my son, and bring my heart joy, so that I can answer anyone who taunts me. Prov 27:7-11 (HCSB)
What is the value of your Circle of Friends and Family Members?
There comes a time in one’s life when being content within your circle of friends and family members is not only proper but healthy! There comes a point when we need to reinforce and build upon the relationships we have in our life, rather than build upon the reach and number of relationships. There comes a point where the “law of diminishing returns” occurs in our affiliations. There may be a large universe of people that we get to make contact with and know, but they are but acquaintances by affiliations, but they are not friends or family that you know well enough to depend upon. Even Jesus had a lot of people He influenced and touched, but He also had his selected disciples, and even whittled them down to His “inner circle” of 12, with only three special disciples that He entrusted with the most intimate concerns of His ministry. Then He also had His family, and even while He was ministering, not all His brothers were real close. Eventually, James and Jude, two of His brothers would become special to Jesus and carry forward His mission of building the Church but evidently not until after Jesus was gone.
We too should be aware of the need to keep a close circle of friends and family members, and not try to be friends and confidants with too large a number of people. We should be friendly, but understand being friends is different. Build strong, healthy, reliable friendships beginning with our close family members, spouses, and special people we desire to truly call our friend.
How do you know who to invest your time and life with? Well, consider who you would trust in a time of real crisis. Who would cover your back, walk side-by-side with you, and look you eye-to-eye to encourage you when things get really tough? Who would share the risk with you in the midst of the storm? Those few are the ones you can call a friend, and are worthy of your most valuable time and effort. They are interested in you, and not about promoting their agendas and interests upon you.
Likewise, do you reciprocate the friendship commitment? Do you share that “phileo” (brotherly) love bond with your declared friends? Will you cross over from the safety of the shore to rescue your friend? Will you be willing to share the risk with your friend?
Warning: if you are always looking for contentment in your relationships, and you cannot find the kind of friend that you can be comfortable with as a close friend, maybe the discontent is not an outward problem, but an inward problem. Very likely, you cannot be content with others because you are unsettled within yourself. Remember the Lord declares that we must love others, as we love ourselves! Thus, we can never love others until we love ourselves as God accepts and loves us. So where would you begin? Begin getting comfortable seeking God’s will, God’s ways, and God’s wisdom according to God’s Word, and you will begin building a friendship with God, and He will reciprocate with you. That will help you learn how to love yourself and be able to a friend to others.
“What a friend we have in Jesus, He is the only friend we truly need!” Why? He teaches us how to be a friend so we can learn to recognize a true friend and build that “phileo” or brotherly (sisterly) love bond with a true friend.
SHILOH MYSTERY SERIES UPDATE AND LINKS:
Update: Visit TMBrownAuthor.com to see how these values play out in the creation of Shiloh Mystery Series: Sanctuary, A Legacy of Memories, Testament, An Unexpected Return, and the latest and last story in the series, Purgatory, A Progeny’s Quest. Family and friendships are not measured or valued by words but actions and attitudes. Follow the travails of Theo Phillips and his wife Liddy as they settle in for what they had hoped to be a peaceful retirement in little old time-lost Shiloh, but God has other plans for them in each of the three stories… T. M. Brown
You can also go to Hearthstone Press to find out how to order your own copy of the Shiloh Mystery Novels.