Sunday, March 20, 2011

I Want To Be Your Friend

By Rev. James Wong
One day I received this SMS from a young person: “I am always not happy because no one wants to be my friend because I am a person with disability. I ask God to give me many friends but I know this is very difficult because others are fearful and feel ashamed to be my friend. I have to keep the unhappiness in my heart; I feel so difficult.” For this young person, life is very lonely without friends.

How much do you value friendship? The power of Facebook is its ability to connect people with their friends far and near and provide them an environment to share friendship and ideas. Although Facebook and Twitter are banned in China, the Chinese version of Facebook, has surpassed 150 million users as of last year. Young people read their Facebook first before they turn to their emails. Friends can be made today and meaningless relationships can be deleted tomorrow.

This is what the Bible says about the importance of friendship. “Do not forget your friends or your father's friends.” Proverbs 27:10 (TEV). Friendship is relationship and it is a great determining factor for the success or failures of our lives. Having high IQ (intelligence quotient) is no assurance for successful living today. What is more important is EQ (emotional quotient) which refers to emotional intelligence, the ability to manage relationship. “Research tracking over 160 high performing individuals in a variety of industries and job levels revealed that emotional intelligence was two times more important in contributing to excellence than intellect and expertise alone.”( Our ability to relate to people and manage relationship is one of the keys to success in life, spanning from family life, social life to church life.

1. Relationship precedes vision. This is especially so in the church. Nothing great can be achieved in any ministry by anyone without great relationships. In fact, people give up when there is little meaningful relationship or when relationship turns sour. To achieve more for God we need to understand the importance of relationship above ministry, for every ministry is built upon relationships. Jesus called his disciples his friends.

2. Relationship in the home and work place. Our ability to manage difficult relationships is part of the skill-set we need to learn to progress in life. Broken marriages are due largely to the inability to manage the relationships in the home. Unhappiness in the work place is also caused mostly by unhappy relationships. Books on managing relationships are available. Buy and learn from them. Don’t say I don’t know.

3. Relationship in sharing the Good News. Friends listen to friends. Friends buy from friends. Friends obliged to their friends. To share the Good News we need to be a friend, or learn to be friend to others. Jesus was called a friend of the rejects and sinners (Mat 11:19). Friends accept invitations from friends. Be a friendly person and make friends. Care for someone because “Friends always show their love.” Proverbs 17:17 (TEV).

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