Home Self Improvement International Friendship Day 2022 – Godspacelight

International Friendship Day 2022 – Godspacelight

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pictures and writing June Friesenwriting from the translation of the Epistle

Friendship – What is friendship? Friendship is a mutual caring, active relationship with another that is built on trust. The photo above is one of my best friends. Throughout my life, I have made and developed many friends, some of whom are still close to me, while others are separated by distance and thus are not as close as we once could have been. My friends just live in multiple countries, not just states.

Why is friendship important? The human race is designed to thrive in relationships. It was like that from the beginning, as well as in Genesis 2 After creating Adam, God realized that it was not good for Adam to be alone. So He created another person, a little different, called her woman and introduced her to Adam as his helper. The friendship we see in the scriptures, as well as in the world today, is certainly necessary. It is useful for each of us. The truth is, we often take our friends for granted and spend little time nurturing and/or appreciating the full impact of the relationship. When I researched online, I found this statement:

“Friendship Day is celebrated to remind friends how valuable they are and to express their love, support and other feelings. Usually this day is celebrated so that we and our friends make this day special.’ – BetterHelp.com

It’s a time when we can thank our friends with a note, a phone call, a text message, and for some, a gift exchange.

First, I want to share a brief history of the day from my online research. It began in South America sometime in 1919 as a sort of combined celebration of Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day. Over the past decade, it has spread throughout the world, with Latin American countries being a particular catalyst. In 2011, the United Nations declared July 30, 2011 an international holiday. Their goal was for this to be a way to encourage friendship that would have no boundaries. Another goal was to promote healthier relationships between groups of people as well as nations and countries. I hope this day will remind many of us of the value of each other’s presence in our lives, for it is indeed a lonely life without someone to share it with, care for, and call a friend.

In the book of Proverbs, the writer talks about how valuable a wise, reliable friend is for a person.

Proverbs 25:12-13

11-12 The right word at the right time is like a piece of jewelry made to order, and the timely rebuke of a wise friend is like a golden ring on a finger.

13 Reliable friends who do what they say are like cool drinks in the heat – refreshing!

Did you notice the difference between the first sentence and the second? It said that the right word at the right time is like custom jewelry. Wow, this is not costume jewelry, but “custom jewelry”. If someone is deeply in love with another person, they can go and get a piece of jewelry custom made because they want it to be the perfect design for their special friend’s taste. We often think of this in relation to couples when a young man goes and has a custom ring made for his girlfriend/fiancé. Second, it says that it is like a gold ring put on someone else’s finger. This refers to an admonition that I might paraphrase as “teachable point”. He is someone we trust, who respects us and wants to help us improve our character, so he gives us the opportunity to help us learn to do and/or say something better.

Now you can answer that they don’t see too many friends exchanging expensive gifts, but loyalty is a gift that is even deeper than a material gift. This means that there is a relationship of care and exchange between two or possibly more individuals, where no one ever has to worry about having someone to care for them in their struggle. I really like the last sentence in this passage because it says that “a faithful friend is like a cool drink in the heat of the day.” I know what it’s like to be in hot weather as the temperature outside reaches 120 degrees Fahrenheit and the cool water is very welcome and necessary to provide at least some degree of comfort. And yes, I would definitely agree that a close friend is someone who provides some sort of comfort even when one is in a place of total brokenness and loss.

For those people who claim to be followers of a God who loves all nations, we should see this as an opportunity to express gratitude for the community of friends we have around us. It can be just a verbal thank you, a text message, a phone call, a note, an email, and for some, a special token, like even a meal together or a small gift, and/or a bouquet of flowers. In our modern world where we are rushing for one reason or another, dealing with everything that technology brings into our space, etc., we often forget to appreciate those who are an important and/or integral part of our lives. My friend sometimes reminds me, “Jun, we need to do something – we haven’t been together in a while.” I am grateful for a friend/friends like this who help build friendships because friendships don’t just happen, they are chosen, created and nurtured.

Paul also has a few words for us in Philippians. Philippians 2:1-4

If you have gained something from following Christ, if His love has affected your life, if being in the community of the Spirit means something to you, if you have a heart, if you care – then do me a favor: agree with each other , love each other, be sincere friends. Don’t push your way forward; don’t sweet talk your way to the top. Leave yourself behind and help others move forward. Don’t get caught up in getting your own advantage. Forget yourself long enough to lend a helping hand.

About the middle of these verses there is a phrase where Paul says, “Do me a favor.” He began this phrase by challenging people’s claims to be followers of God, especially Christians. As I read these verses, I challenge myself: How often do I forget to practice some of these things in my friendships? Let me share what true friendship looks like to me.

TRIBUTE TO FRIENDSHIP

my friend:

How often have I found time to say thank you –

I’m not sure enough – so today I want to tell you how important you are in my life.

Thank you for always being willing to share a hug with me –

No matter what the occasion or whether there is an occasion at all –

Thanks for the call, text, note –

Let me know what you thought of me and just want to say hi

Thanks for the time we had a nice chat –

Remembering the good times and even the hard times –

Thank you for reaching out when I was silent –

Letting me know that you miss the touch and reminding me that we still need each other –

Thank you for this unexpected little gift you blessed me with “just because”.

They are often just what I need at the moment,

And often I put it in a special place to remind me –

You always remember our special friendship – and you care.

You my friend have been such a blessing to me –

You have taught me that I am important to you and to others, and you remind me of this from time to time –

You have taught me that self care is important and not always self centered and selfish as some may tell me it is –

You taught me to “reach for the stars” and never limit what I can do –

You gave me wings to fly where I’d never explore –

You urged me to “never give up” until I at least tried –

You showed me the tools and encouraged me to use them

You were also the one who, when I first failed, said:

“Why don’t you try this time?” and then the achievement was won.

Yes my friend I thank you for standing strong with me

Never give up, never humiliate, never despair –

But if necessary, he takes my hand and helps me walk the way

One more step, one more day, one more breath at a time.

Thank you, my friend, for being here on this earth, God’s unconditional love and support. Amen.

This is a tribute to my husband, Ron, who was a true friend of over 54 years.


Agile July 2022

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