Be a constructive friend.
In my teen years, I spent a lot of time with two friends. For several years, Tony was my constant companion. Later, circumstances led me to spend more time with Scott. I stayed in touch with both of them from about age 10 to 20, but they definitely had distinct years in first place.
Once, when I was a college freshman, Tony gave me a ride back to MU on the way to his school in Rolla. When we got there, Tony reluctantly shared what Scott had been saying about me and my relationship with a certain girl. It seems that Scott thought me stupid to be with her and believed she’d bring me down. Scott didn’t share any of those concerns with me, but didn’t seem to have any problem trotting them out with Tony and others.
I think Scott might have been on to something. My dating relationship with that girl ended after two years. In May we’ll celebrate 35 years of marriage, but Scott might still have a point.
He was a pup at that time, so I don’t fault him, but Scott was not being very constructive. His words had a far greater likelihood of pulling me down than of doing anything positive. Even had he been right about that girl, his approach was wrong-headed.
Our goal as friends should always be to build our friends up and to help them prosper. That’s what Jesus did for us and what we should do for the ones we love.
- Have you ever been less than constructive in your dealings with friends?
- When was the last time that a friend proved especially positive toward you? How did that change your life?
- How can you best pray for God’s assistance in celebrating the successes and sharing the afflictions in the lives of your friends?