A Letter to My Kids

Dear Amy, Aaron, & Abby,
Some time ago, I was thinking about who I call my closest friends. There are many, but off the top I came up with aboutseven people. Then I asked myself what made them such special friends.

The common strand among them was that they were all encouragers.

They all supported and motivated me. They spoke God’s truth into my life. They kept praying for me until I received the fullness of the Lord’s promises. They are people with whom I can bare my thoughts. I know they will receive the outpourings of my heart – the “grain and chaff together” – and sift it with gentlest of hands, blow away what is not worth keeping, and return to me the best of the grain.

God values friendships so much that He mentions it over a hundred times in the Bible. Friendship is His plan for our spiritual and emotional growth. That’s why Jesus sent His disciples out two by two. He knew the Gospel would be understood best in the context of relationships. Later on (in John 17), He prayed for His disciples to be united in friendship. He prayed that we’d be one so that the world would believe. It is in our friendships that Jesus would be seen as credible by the world. That’s incredible!

I hope you find good friends. But beware! Friendship is something like happiness. The more you seek after it, the more slippery and elusive it becomes. The first step in finding good friends is to be one. Dale Carnegie once said, “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in others than in two years by trying to get others interested in you!” We all need love and acceptance, and when we give it to others, it usually comes back to us in some way.

One of the best ways to be a good friend is to be an encourager. Upon seeing the impact of encouragement in my life, I thought, “If that’s what makes them such good friends, I want to become an encourager too!”

Train your eyes to see what is good about people, and tell them! Think of it this way: Just imagine that around the neck of every person you come in contact with hangs a large sign. On it is written: “Please make me feel valuable.”Tell them how valuable they are. You see, when people feel valuable when they are around you, they will define you as a “friend.”

Jesus is like that, isn’t He? That is why we find in His Word, “No longer do I call you slaves… but I [call] you friends…” (John.15:15)

Your friend,

Dad

This post is an adapted from Pastor Wayne Cordeiro’s book, Gems Along the Way. We’ll post relevant experts here from time to time, and you can find it in the Life Resources collection.
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