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Go To Your Brother

Friendship Confrontation Self-absorbed

Source: British Weekly

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2018-07-17

Scripture: Matthew 18:15

Author: Joseph Parker
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ILLUSTRATION

Joseph Parker, a prominent British minister at the end of the 19th century, published an open letter to express his concerns for his friend and colleague, Charles Spurgeon. The letter read, "Let me advise you to widen the circle of which you are the center. You are surrounded by offerers of incense. They flatter your weakness, they laugh at your jokes, they feed you with compliments. My dear Spurgeon, you are too big a man for this."

APPLICATION

Whether the concerns were valid or not, the method was certainly lacking.  A true friend brings their concerns to us privately and only goes to our public with words of support and/or praise.  

We would all do well to practice this same discretion in our social media interactions.  Why correct a friend on a public facebook page when you can just as easily private message them? Show them you care more about them than winning an argument or looking superior.  

"If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over" (Matthew 18:15).

Fishing For A Friend?

Loneliness Evangelism Friendship

Source: “The establishment lets you order an aquatic pal," by RAVNEET AHLUWALIA, September 4, 2017, The Independent

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2017-11-09

Scripture: Matthew 4:19

Author: Illustration Exchange
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ILLUSTRATION

The Independent reports:

The fish friend programme caught the imagination of the internet after radio producer Michelle Cook tweeted a picture of the fishbowl and sign. The caption read: “My friend is staying in a hotel in Belgium. They've offered her the option of renting a fish for the night, in case she's lonely.”

... Hotel manager David Dillen told The Independent that the fish rental service has been running for several years and is popular with guests. 

He said: “We started a few years ago. The idea was to surprise our guests, as we always try to do.

“It’s brilliant to see how people react to it. They smile, they take pictures to put on social media. We rent a few fish per week.”

APPLICATION

There are a lot of ways to deal with the problem of loneliness.  You could order a fish.  Or, you could get out of yourself and focus on trying to help someone else.  Whatever might be said of Jesus' followers, it should never be said that they are lonely. First, you’re never alone when you walk closely with Jesus. He is constantly by your side.  Also, He compels you to seek and serve others—particularly the lost.  His promise to every faithful follower is that He will make them fishers of men.  So the next time you're feeling all alone, don't hang out with a fish, but go fishing!

"Come, follow Me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men" (Matthew 4:19). 

Hey, You Walk Funny!

Truth Love (Tough Love) Friendship

Source: Personal Blog

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Brad Shockley | Date Posted: 2016-02-24

Scripture: Proverbs 27:6

Author: Brad Shockley
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ILLUSTRATION

His name was Toby. He had long hair. He wore boots and raced motorcycles. He was the coolest kid in my school. I didn’t have long hair, or wear boots, or ride motorcycles. I wasn’t the coolest kid, not by a long shot, so we were acquaintances, not friends. But one Saturday afternoon fate brought us together for a moment, and it taught me something I’ve never forgotten.

The football field was one of the few places in the small town I grew up in you could go when bored. I was kicking rocks across the cement bleachers when Toby pulled up on his bike (not a motorcycle, but even his regular bike was amazing; it was yellow and had shocks). We started talking and goofing off like boys do, if only for a little while. Our kinds were not supposed to mix, the cool and the uncool. It went against the order of things, like a mathlete dating a cheerleader.

Toby interrupted our bonding time midway with an unexpected question. “Hey, can I tell you something?” From his tone and body language I guessed this wasn’t a random, matter-of-fact query.

“O…Okay, uh, sure,” I stuttered, not believing this was happening. He was letting his defenses down and opening up to me. My hopes kicked into high gear. I could see us walking down the hallways at school as actual bros, sitting at lunch together, flirting with girls, who might actually notice me with him at my side. And then he said it.

“You walk funny.”

Wait. What? I walk funny? “What do you mean?” I asked.

“Everybody makes fun of the way you walk. Like this,” he said and then demonstrated what I can only describe as the gate of a gorilla, shoulders hunched, arms hung low. Dear Lord, I walk like that?! No way.  But I had to admit he was right.

Toby, the hippest kid ever who had no reason to help a nerd like me, didn’t leave me there. He showed me how to walk like a normal person. I’d stroll down the bleachers. He’d critique and correct me until I got it right. I left the ball field that day with a new walk, an almost new friend (the order of things righted Monday, but I was okay with it), and a new life lesson.

APPLICATION

Sometimes we need to tell the truth, even if it hurts. The Bible expresses this in a Proverb, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy” (Proverbs 27:6, ESV). If we truly care about someone, we’ll risk hurting them if it means sparing them pain, embarrassment, or trouble. I’ve wondered all these years why my real friends never told me I was being made fun of. They had to have known.

Living this out may mean we reluctantly, rarely, and very carefully tell a wife not to wear that dress, or a child not to sing in the talent show, or even a friend that preaching is probably not his calling. But, like Toby, we don’t leave them there. We take our wife to the store, spend all day if needed, and help her find the perfect outfits which bring out her inner beauty. We give our child singing lessons for as long as it takes to help make her dream a reality. Or we help our friend find areas of ministry for which he’s gifted.

It’s been said that even the most unjust of criticisms contain a kernel of truth. If that’s true, then living out Proverbs 27:6 also means we keep ourselves open to friends’ fault-findings. I didn’t want to hear what Toby said, but I’m so glad he said it. Part of growing up and certainly part of growing in grace is listening to what others say about us, searching for that kernel of truth. Motive is the key. If someone truly loves me, they’ll be honest with me. Knowing that makes their wounds worth bearing.

"Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy" (Proverbs 27:6, ESV).

Successful Friends Bring Success

Friendship Servanthood Ambition

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-02-23

Scripture: Luke 14:12 ; Galatians 1:10

Author: Illustration Exchange
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What Would Jesus Credit Score Be?

Friendship Reward Servanthood

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-08-31

Scripture: Matthew 6:24 ; Matthew 9:10

Author: Illustration Exchange
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Shattered Mirrors

Criticism Patience Friendship

Contributed By: Barnett Gushin | Date Posted: 2014-08-14

Scripture: Matthew 23:24

Author: Karen Barber
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Respect the Question

Respect Listening Friendship

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-05-19

Scripture: James 1:19

Author: by Steven J. Lawson and Max Anders
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Bristly Buddies

Friendship Comfort Compassion

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-05-12

Scripture: Romans 12:10

Author: Charles Swindoll
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Who's the Most Important?

Friendship Encouragement Success

Contributed By: John Rollyson | Date Posted: 2014-03-29

Scripture: John 15:15

Author: Max Lucado
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A Threefold Cord Friendship

Friendship Loyalty Fellowship

Contributed By: Mitchell Dillon | Date Posted: 2014-03-14

Scripture: Ecclesiastes 4:9

Author: Mitchell Dillon
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