Adventure with friendship – We will actually walk through life with only a handful of real friendship companions. They will make us wise, or bring us to harm. Beyond our marriage partner and children, people develop only a handful of close friendships. These become increasingly important as the years go on. These people are the VIPs of our relational world.

PROVERBS
By Pastor Delbert Young

Adventure With Friendship

Audio

Adventure With Friendship

Proverbs 13:20, Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, 1 Corinthians 15:33, Proverbs 6:16-19, Proverbs 16:18, Proverbs 12:22, Proverbs 19:5, Proverbs 16:28, Matthew 5:9, Proverbs 18:24, John 15:15

Today’s lesson is simple. You probably won’t hear any deep revelations as far as something in scripture you’ve never seen or heard before. However, what I will share is the ballgame of life. It will decide if you win or lose. It’s not the pregame show or halftime. It’s the ballgame.

The neighborhood where we live is a peaceful, quiet neighborhood, and it’s very conducive to walks. It’s extremely common to see people walking. Sometimes it’s a husband and wife. Sometimes it’s a person walking for exercise, but often it’s two women or two men out walking together. When I see this, I can’t help but think they must be friends. When you think about it, walks with people are relational experiences in an unhurried time where people share thoughts and experiences. Lady Wisdom has a lot to say about walking and choosing companions to walk with through life.

Proverbs 13:20 He who WALKS WITH the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.

We will actually walk through life with only a handful of real companions. They will make us wise, or bring us to harm. Beyond our marriage partner and children, most people develop a handful of close friendships, which become increasingly important as the years go on. These people are the VIPs of our relational world. We socialize with them. We do recreation with them. Sometimes we even do vacations with these friends. Our lives intertwine. These VIPs of our relational world WILL INEVITABLY have an effect on our lives. The effect is more than we think it could possibly be. The values, the convictions, and the morals of those people we walk closely with throughout the course of our life will find their way into our lives. No matter if we want this or not, no matter if we like it or not, we are deeply affected by our close friends. It’s INEVITABLE.

Wisdom says if we walk with wise people through the course of life, people with a purpose in their step and committed to God’s ways, then we will become wise over time. By the sheer power of osmosis, our friend’s wisdom will seep into us, making us wise. Their judgment will improve your judgment. Their values will enhance your values. Their convictions will enhance your convictions. If you walk with the right people over time, it will enhance who you become. What an amazing concept. Therefore, if I find successful people to walk with, I will be successful.

Of course, just as you can’t change how math works, you can’t change how this works. If you walk with fools seduced by Whore Folly, you become a fool seduced by Whore Folly. Your friend’s foolishness, by the sheer power of osmosis, will seep into your life. Their lack of judgment will ruin your judgment. Their faulty morals will direct you off course. The verse said you WILL SUFFER HARM. Before you know it, your life will not be working well.

It’s amazing when I talk to people whose life is in a mess how the mess can be traced back to hanging out with a fool. We see it coming.

Sometimes people will ask Judy and me to talk to them about a mess they are experiencing. Before the talk, we say something like, “Well, you know they’ve been with and talking to…” So, if you can find success by walking with wise people, walking with wrong people will take you the wrong way. You need an adventure with friendship.

Wisdom asks, “What do you want to do with your life? What do you want to become?” Once you come to clarity on this, the rest is academic. If you want a successful life then INTENTIONALLY position your life around successful people.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 Two people can accomplish more than twice as much AS ONE; they get a better return for their labor. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But people WHO ARE ALONE when they fall are in real trouble. AND ON A COLD NIGHT, TWO UNDER THE SAME BLANKET CAN GAIN WARMTH FROM EACH OTHER. But how can ONE be warm ALONE? A person standing ALONE can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.

Through life, we should be braiding our lives together with similarly life goaled people. In the coldness of life, we will osmosis heat from them. When in battle, we will stand back to back and conquer. We will ACCOMPLISH MORE THAN TWICE AS MUCH in life. If we will do life with those type people, we will almost certainly become what we want to become. WE WILL NEVER DEVELOP THIS KIND OF ACCOMPLISHMENT ALONE. However, if we begin walking with people going the other direction in life, we can kiss our dreams goodbye. Don’t get under the blanket with the wrong people.

1 Corinthians 15:33 DO NOT BE MISLED: “Bad company corrupts good character.”

We want to think we are the exception to God’s word and wisdom. I want to believe I’ve walked with God so long and so solidly I can hang with any group I want, and it won’t affect me. So, I have to read the first four words of this verse again. “Do not be misled.” I hang with the wrong people, I get in trouble. Their morals and convictions seep into my life. I’m not an exception, and neither are you.

With this concept in mind, let’s see what Proverbs has to say about the type people we need and don’t need to develop as friends. Wisdom tells us to narrow the selection of those we invite to our walk. Wisdom says if you spot specific characteristics in a person take a pass on this person. Be kind to them. Serve them if you can. Point them to God. Remember they matter to God, but don’t get “body heat” from them. Let’s first look at some character types we should avoid.

(Amp) Proverbs 6:16-19 These six things the Lord hates, indeed, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look [the spirit that makes one overestimate himself and underestimate others], a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that manufactures wicked thoughts {and} plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, A false witness who breathes out lies [even under oath], and he who sows discord among his brethren.

People with any of these characteristics are dangerous people to have in your life. Let’s look and see if we need to do any friend pruning.

(1) “A proud look” is a person with an attitude of superiority. Have you ever seen someone roll his or her eyes as if to say, “What you’re saying is dumb”? These people think, “I matter, and you don’t.” How about these who say: “I’m white, you’re black.” “I make a lot of money, you make less.” “I’m educated, you’re not.” “I’m spiritual, you’re not.” “I’m republican, you’re not.” “I dress expensively, you don’t.”

Proverbs 16:18 Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.

Don’t walk with an arrogant person. If you do, arrogance will seep into your life, and you will soon fall. Wave to those people. Point them to God, but take a pass on friendship and a walk in life with them.

(2) “A lying tongue” is more than a person who doesn’t tell the truth.

Proverbs 12:22 The LORD hates those who don’t keep their word, but he delights in those who do.

Honesty and doing what a person says they are going to do is important. A person who has a problem with this is not to be a close friend. Before long, lying and not doing what you say you will do will seep into your life. If you will notice, most likely the times you’ve lied were when you got too close to someone who lied. Stay away from a person who lies. The Lord hates this, so take a pass.

(3) “Hands that shed innocent blood” seems to be a characteristic of a person most of us would never consider being a friend. The thought is deeper. It’s a person who takes advantage of innocent, unsuspecting people. People take advantage of the weak and poor all the time. This is a person whose heart is not moved by the suffering of innocent people. For example, you don’t want those in your walk who will steal from their grandpa. Take a pass.

(4 & 5) “A heart that manufactures wicked thoughts {and} plans, feet that are swift in running to evil.” We will do these together. These people come up with shady plans and schemes. I’ll go a little extreme to make my point. How about a person who deals in and manufactures child pornography? Would this be considered “wicked thoughts, plans, and feet running to evil?” When you find someone with wicked thoughts like this, you RUN! Understand the principle of heat transfer. Don’t get under the blanket with them. Their trash will osmosis into you. Run away from them.

(6) “A false witness who breathes out lies [even under oath]” is a person who, as easy as breathing, tells lies about people. They will even do it under oath.

Proverbs 19:5 A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who pours out lies will not go free.

You never know if they are telling you the truth concerning someone. When you walk with people like this, punishment is coming. You will lie, and our own lies will capture you. Around these people, it becomes easier and easier for you to lie about others. Also, realize they will lie about you. It’s as natural as breathing to them. We reason they won’t lie about us. Yes, they will. A reason we have friends is so we can share secrets and even dark things in our lives. If you have a person like this in your life, there is no telling who will know your secrets and your shady things, or how exaggerated your secrets will become. You had better stay away.

(7) “He who sows discord among his brethren” is a person who not only gossips but also keeps stuff stirred up.

Proverbs 16:28 A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends.

This is a person who cannot let something go, and it doesn’t matter if it concerned them or someone else. They tell everyone they can and keep an already lousy situation stirred up. Wisdom says a person like this is a perverse person – perverted. We don’t think like this when talking to them. Somehow we feel sorry for them, take their side, sort of get into the rumor, so we too become perverted. Then we go tell someone else. It’s perverted because the Holy Spirit says let’s resolve it. The perversion of Whore Folly says let’s keep it going. Let’s keep it stirred. This perversion separates close friends. Do you know anyone like this? Have you been around anyone like this? God hates it, and it is number seven, the one wisdom says is an abomination! I agree. I’ve lost some good friends because of it, and you may have too. Stay away from these people. They will pervert you. Jesus said,

Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.

This is whom you want to walk with during your life. Find people and walk with people who wish to have relational peace.

I’ve been the pastor of this church for nearly 25 years now. I’ve watched people search for and pray for the best doctor, best lawyer, best shopping deal, etc. However, people are very passive and seemingly casual when it comes to diligently searching for people they can walk with concerning their one and only life. It’s never made sense to me. Along with your family, your friends are the ballgame of your life. Friendship is not the teaser before the movie. Friendship is not the pre-game show. Friends are the people who determine the achievement and position you attain in your life. In fact, what good is a successful life if you don’t have close people to share your success? This is the one and only shot you get at this great adventure called living. Wisdom says one of the most significant challenges you face is who to do this one and only adventure. So, when I see people doing stuff with specific people whose character falls into those things God hates, I want to shake them. I want to say, “You know better. You have seen this person’s actions. You go to church here. You know the damage this relationship will do to you.” Take a pass. Prune the relationship.

Here is where I want to bring this today. We must TAKE THE INITIATIVE and become aggressive concerning relationships. Correct friendships are not going to show up on your steps one day. The ones you don’t want will, but the ones you want in your life you must aggressively seek. You are not going to find the friends who will help you have the life adventure you want in loser joints.

So, what do you do? Do some investigating. Find some people who appear to have the attributes you want to osmosis into your life. Invite them to lunch, or over for supper. Find some way to get some of their time. Take a risk. I remember one of my oldest closest friends asked us to go out to eat with them after church one night. Later, I invited them to our house for supper. It’s been an over thirty-year osmosis friendship. I have another close friend who once was no more than an acquaintance. One day, unexpectedly, he called and asked me to meet him for lunch. Today, this is a relationship I osmosis into my life. Not long ago, we had an elder’s meeting during which I went around the table and recalled to each one my first memory of them, and what they have meant to my life for all these years we have done life together. They have been friends to me through some of life’s most difficult times. We all took a risk on each other, but today, we know our lives have advanced because of each other. We had an adventure in friendship.

Developing a lifelong friendship requires initiative and aggressiveness. If you don’t, you will end up with loser friends whose characteristics are the things God hates.

Proverbs 18:24 There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.

We will have many acquaintance friends in life, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother. I have a sister, and she loves me, but I have friends in my life who stuck with me in the worst of times when everyone else doubted me and left. They not only stayed with me, but they also put their back to my back and fought for me and with me. We will go to our graves being friends.

I can’t close this lesson without speaking of one more “friend.” His name is Jesus. He has been there helping me, guiding me, being truthful with me, giving me wisdom, doing all he could through everything in my life. He’s helped me be good and attempted to stop me when I was bad. I’m able to tell him my darkest things and never worry about him repeating. I know he will never leave me or forsake me. I know he loves me and only wants me to do better. He actually laid his life down so he could be my friend.

John 15:15 I no longer call you servants, because a master doesn’t confide in his servants. NOW YOU ARE MY FRIENDS, since I have told you everything the Father told me.

Have you taken the initiative, become aggressive, and taken the risk to be a friend to Jesus?

It’s when you put both of these together, VIP earthly friends who stick closer than a blood relative, and a friendship with Jesus you can’t lose. Include yourself, and you have a 3-ply cord. When you get the osmosis heat from your friends and the osmosis of God’s Spirit, you are on the path of Lady Wisdom and guaranteed a life filled with success. Have an adventure in friendship.

Other Related Sermons:

Placed in Time sermon video audio notes

People You Associate – sermon video audio notes

Two Manner of People – sermon video audio notes

Also see:

Sermons Change The World

Life Gate Church sermons by Delbert Young