Many of us are familiar with the story of “Two Frogs.” It is one of my favorite stories when speaking on friendship.
There were a group of frog-friends traveling through the woods, and two of them fell into a deep pit. All the other frogs gathered around the pit. When they saw how deep the pit was, they told the two frogs that they should just give up and die.
The two frogs ignored the comments and tried to jump out of the pit with all of their might while the group of frogs kept yelling to them to stop because they were as good as dead.
Finally, one of the frogs took heed to what the other frog-friends were saying and gave up. He fell down and died.
The second frog continued to jump as hard as he could. Once again, the crowd of frog-friends yelled at him to stop the pain and just die. The more they yelled, the more he jumped even harder and finally jumped right out.
You see, this frog was deaf, he didn’t hear what the group of friends were saying, he only saw their enthusiasm, so he kept jumping. He thought they were encouraging him (Author unknown).
What is the moral? It is simply to be an encouraging friend. We all have friends who seem to have their eyes on the negative side to each situation. And there are friends who encourage even when life seems hopeless.
WHAT KIND OF FRIEND ARE YOU?
I am sure friendships are a special gift from the Lord. As I evaluate the kind of friend I am, it humbles me that God has given me so many wonderful friends through the years. Some friends seem to be for a short period of time and some friends seem to be “forever friends.” I am blessed to have several of both friends for which I am extremely grateful.
God has much to say about friendships. A few of these are…
I am admonished to be:
- A friend that loves at all times (Proverbs 17:17).
- A friend whose counsel is sweet and never forsakes (Proverbs 27:9).
- A friend who bears others burdens (Galatians 6:2).
- A friend who we can tell our sins to and pray for one another (James 5:16).
- A friend who does not spread strife and make slanderous comments (Proverbs 16:28 and Proverbs 26:20).
- A friend who does not gossip to others about a transgression (Proverbs 17:9).
I am to impact/influence others the most by being…
- A person of courage.
- A person of character.
- A person of discipline.
- A person of excellence.
- A person of compassion.
- A person of encouragement.
- A person of vision.
- A person of generosity.
- A person of wisdom.
- A person of faith.
Taking the above evaluations of friendships, I can create authentic goals to encourage me to grow in my friendships and to encourage others to grow also. These few points are…
- Have a passion for excellence.
- Ask, listen, and hear — to determine the wants, needs, and possibilities of all with whom I am with.
- Provide an example of commitment and integrity.
- Follow a path of continual encouragement for myself and others.
- Constantly focus on strengths of all others.
- Cultivate optimum physical, mental, and spiritual fitness.
- Lead as I would like to be led.
- Savor the flavor of each passing moment. Look for positive reinforcement.
- Infuse every thought and relationship with faith, hope, love , and gratitude.
- I want to exhort, encourage, and enlighten to love and good works as Hebrews 10: 19-25:
Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near (NAS).
Friendships are a treasure. I am so very grateful for the many friendships through the years I have been blessed to have.
I want to be a friend who encourages one to keep swimming, keep jumping, keep trying. Pray about all things.
Friends love you tops when you are at the bottom.
Friends look up to you when the rest of the world is looking down.
Friends let you step on their toes to help you get on your feet.
Friends show you the meaning of true friendship, not the meaningless of it.
Friends shoot straight with you, not at you.
Friends know most of your faults and care the least.
Friends tell you when you are wrong, and not everybody else.
Friends don’t complain when you neglect them, only when you neglect yourself.
Friends let you worry them more than their enemies.
Friends want to know about your achievements as well as your losses.
Friends are behind you when you’re taking bows and beside you when taking boos.
Friends don’t split with you, when you flop, but split what they have.
Friends are your best press agents, and they do this for free.
Friends have no greater love than to lay down their lives for their Friends.
Thank you for being my Friend (Author unknown).
I would need many pages to individually thank my friends who have admonished me, impacted/influenced me, and who have encouraged me to live above my circumstances and treasure the moment. It is a blessing and joy for me to reflect on these precious gifts from the Lord for which I am forever grateful. Some friends I see often — almost daily; some I see weekly or by monthly and some I see only a few times a year. It seems that when we are together we just take up right where we left off the last time we met.
Let us never forget to be a “good finder” to be a “cheer leader” and to love enough to encourage others to love and good works.
Thank you for reading. I would enjoy hearing from you about your special friends and how you encourage or about those who have encouraged you. Glenda