"Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.”
My mother once said to me, "You love your friends more than you do your family!" Of course, I said, "No, that's ridiculous!"
Then one day, I actually thought about what she said, and thought to myself, "Hmmm... She just may be right!” Haven't you ever thought to yourself, "God, what were you thinking when you hooked me up with these crazy people! -Are you sure they're connected to me by blood? They're all nuts! Am I the only sane one in this family?”
The truth is, our friends were hand-picked for the traits we have in common, our ethics, ideals, and how we complement each other. We love being with them. On the other hand, our family was divinely designed by God to sometimes thoroughly work our last already shredded nerve! There are times when we simply want to throw up our hands and just walk away. -But of course, they'll know exactly where to find us!
Did you know that when God arranged the birth order in your family, He also predetermined a group of very specific traits for you to use based on your birth order? First-born children tend to be natural leaders within their families, and tend to be the natural go-to person when there is a family problem; their ethics and standards are usually the closest to the standards instilled by your parents. Middle children are natural mediators; they can easily toggle between two colliding groups to find common ground. And, of course, the babies in the family are natural born entertainers, easily and dramatically pulling the entire family together around them.
At first, when we select our friendships, we naturally gravitate towards the complement we are looking for based on what we believe we are lacking. The first connection is visual, then, it gets deeper. We've all seen them; those friends who complement each other, the tall skinny kid with the short chubby kid; the extremely dark-skinned child with the very light-skinned child; an extremely studious kid with the class clown, and the extroverted with the shy.
As we get older and establish deeper friendships, we seek out those whose values, core beliefs, and ethics somehow complement our own. God is truly wonderful! He took the time to set up our lives so that we would easily gravitate towards friends who complement and empower us. Sometimes we take our friends for granted, knowing that they will be there when and if we need them, never quite remembering they might just need us!
Today, thank God for establishing your friendships; and then, take some time to thank those who you consider friends. L.
Study Reference: Proverbs 27:17, 18:24
From: "The Friendship Connection." In The Master's Hands: 365 Daily Devotions For Everyday Living.
Copyright © 2014 by Lavona E. Campbell