Monday, June 17, 2013

June 18, 2013

"As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another."  Proverbs 27:17

This short verse says a lot about friendship.

It not only advises you what to look for in a friend but it also shows you what it means to be a good friend.
Literally it conveys the idea of using your tools to build better friends. You could paraphrase it this way, "Rubs your friends the right way!"
Three tools every friend ought to have in his tool kit are these: encouragement, exhortation and empowerment.
Encourage your friend.
"How do I encourage?" you ask.
One way to begin answering that question is to consider, "What encourages me?" If it encourages you it may also encourage them as well.
To encourage means to "add" or "put in" courage, "to inspire".
Prayer is an effective way of encouragement. By praying for him and praying with him you can pray courage into his spirit.
You may speak words of courage to your friend. Those words may be from Scripture or inscribed on a card.
You may give them the gift of inspirational music.
Perhaps you could encourage through a kind act or by giving a nice gift.
Maybe you could encourage by helping your friend solve the problem that has them discouraged.
By walking with your friend through a fearful experience he can draw on your courage while his is weak.
There have been several extremely painful periods in my life where I literally would not have made it unless a friend our several friends had not encouraged me.
When my faith was weak, they had faith for me and in me.
I had lost my confidence and courage, but they had confidence in me and for me. Their confidence encouraged me.
Praise God for my friends who had the tool of encouragement in their tool box and used it to rub me in the right way!
Because I have benefited from the blessing of encouragement, I am determined to be an encourager to others.
I encourage you to do the same!