WEDNESDAY, JULY 3
“The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life,
that one may turn away from the snares of death.”
Proverbs 13:14 ESV
OPTIMAL FRIENDS ARE REFRESHING
Pastor Robert Morgan writes, “A very wise lady once told me during my college years, ‘Rob, learn to be a refreshing person, like the man named Philemon in the Bible. In writing to him, the apostle Paul said, ‘The hearts of the saints have been refreshed by you, brother,’ and Paul later added, ‘Yes, brother… refresh my heart in the Lord.’” (Philemon 1:7, 20). She planted a desire in my mind and since that day I’ve wanted to be refreshing to others, like a fresh breeze on a sultry day. I’ve not been nearly as successful as I’d like, but I’m still trying; and as I study the book of Proverbs, I find some hints to help me along the way. Proverbs 11:25 says, “He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.” Proverbs 18:4 says, “A person’s words can be life-giving water; words of true wisdom are as refreshing as a bubbling brook.” (NLT) Proverbs 25:13 says, “Reliable friends… are like cool drinks in sweltering heat—refreshing!” (The Message) Proverbs 27:9 says, “Just as lotions and fragrance give sensual delight, a sweet friendship refreshes the soul.” (The Message)
Proverbs 13:14 reminds us that some of our friends can be refreshing. And we can all identify with those people in our lives who have been like a cold glass of water on a hot summer day in Georgia. We can all also identify with the people in our lives who simply drain us. Oscar Wilde said, “Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.” We definitely want to minister to the people who can be draining but we also need close friends who can pour into us with God’s love and God’s wisdom.
Proverbs 13:14 also reminds us that people who pour wisdom into us may be used to turn us “away from the snares of death.” A wise and refreshing friend may be used by God to save our lives. These are the friends who God uses in the darkest days of our lives to give us hope, light and encouragement. Picture yourself on your hottest and thirstiest day. Are your closest friends the type of friends who would simply complain about how hot it is and how thirsty they are and how this is probably all the fault of politicians? Or do you have close friends who would bring you cold water? Which of your friends would most likely be the one to show up with a cold glass of water? Thank God for those friends and cling to those who refresh you.