The Impact of Friends
Anytime you trip in front of your friends, the best thing to do is to just bounce right back up and keep on going. To the airport. And then leave the country. Maybe change your name.
Isn’t it a little hard to save face after your face just did a plant? Especially a face plant on gravel. Exfoliation gone so wrong.
The last time I took a tumble I didn’t do a face plant so there was no eating gravel or anything. But I think I do remember the faint taste linoleum for a while. It was in a busy hallway at church. So it was really more the taste of linoleum and humiliation.
It’s always nice to have friends nearby who will help you up. Well actually, to laugh uproariously for several minutes first and then make merciless fun of you for years. But at least they do help you up somewhere in between.
I love the reminder in Ecclesiastes 4: “Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their efforts. For if either falls, his companion can lift him up; but pity the one who falls without another to lift him up,” (vv. 9-10, HCSB).
Proverbs 18:24 also makes a thought-provoking point. “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother,” (ESV). There are times when it’s not enough to simply have someone standing by. Those surfacey kinds of acquaintances will come and go in our lives. But there is a true and lasting blessing in a friend who’s with you through all your ups and downs. Through every victory and through every tumble. And there’s great blessing in becoming that kind of friend to someone as well.
Since our Heavenly Father has so much to say about the importance of our relationships, and since He included this particular bit of friendship information in His Word, I’m taking that to mean I need to be reminded. We need each other—when we’ve just taken a header and just as much when we’re gracefully tiptoeing along. I find myself remembering all the clearer each time a close friend offers godly counsel or encourages me to seek the Lord. I remember it well each time friends spur me on or inspire me to walk closer to Christ by their godly example. And yes, still again each time a friend helps scrape me off the pavement after a spill.
If you’re experiencing one of those seasons in life when your close friends are not as accessible, could I encourage you to keep praying, asking the Lord to send a bud your way? Who knows? He might drop one right in front of you. Maybe even in a church hallway. On linoleum.
Meanwhile, Psalm 37:23-24 tells us that, “The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand,” (NIV). Whether there is a friend nearby or not, the Lord is never absent or inattentive. Even if there’s a bit of a spill, we’re lovingly held.
True friends? They’re a blessed bonus. It’s amazing how the Lord can use them to impact our lives for Him.
Good impact. Because now we know there’s impact…and there’s impact on linoleum.
© 2013 by Rhonda Rhea. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
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