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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

July 20, 2018


Filed under Sabbath Thoughts

When you hear the word "friend" or use it yourself, what do you think of? Is it necessary to have friends? Do we need them? Or is it enough to be a member of the Church of God and to participate in the work of the Church? The obvious answer is that we need friends. Sooner or later, we will all need a friend. There will be times when we will need someone we can trust to sit down with us and show us compassion and comfort in our grief.

We need friends to encourage us when we are depressed, celebrate our successes with us and be happy with us when we are. Friends are people who are genuinely interested in our well-being. What exactly is a friend? A good description of a friend is the following: Seeing a friend when you're sad and depressed is like a ray of sunshine on a cold, cloudy and gloomy day; spending an evening with a friend is not an evening, it's an investment in a friend; a friend likes seeing you, being with you and talking to you.

How does a friend act towards a friend? In the same way he expects his friend to act! A friend claims a little less recognition than he deserves and takes on a little more guilt than he deserves, filling a gap before it can open. A friend will overlook some of your weaknesses and help you overcome the weaknesses he cannot overlook. When we think of mistakes, it is good to remember that the mistakes of others – like the headlights of an oncoming vehicle – always catch our eye more than our own mistakes.

A friend is priceless. You can't buy friendship, instead it must be earned. If you have a friend just because of your wealth, then you have no friend, but your wealth has a friend. A friend of wealth is a rented friend and disappears when the lease expires.

When you think of friendship, remember that you can never get more out of friendship than you invest in it. A true friendship between two people means that they can expect a lot from each other, but will never demand it.

When we have good friends, we lead a more pleasant, fruitful and meaningful life. Good friends are a valuable tool for a better, more fulfilling life, so we should strive to be kind, love one another and become more like our Lord and Master Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ tells us we can be His friends: "You are My friends if you do whatever I command you" (John 15:14). Jesus also talked about the greatest friendship of all: "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends" (John 15:13).

With these words Christ set a standard for friendship. Then He put it into action by giving His life for His friends – those who keep His commandments. He expects us to follow in His footsteps: "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another" (John 13:34-35).

With these thoughts I wish everyone a rewarding Sabbath!

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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