Wednesday, July 22, 2015

40 Questions to study friendship, character and virtue

Friendly relationships are blessings. 

The Holy Spirit trains Christians to be friendly people. God’s Word provides discernment, guidance, comfort and strength in matters of every type of relationship.
  • casual acquaintance
  • professional acquaintance
  • childhood friend
  • college friend
  • distant old friend
  • new found friend
  • church friend
  • younger friend
  • elderly friend
  • intimate friend
  • friend found in specific, temporary circumstances
  • life-long bond of matrimony between a man and woman as husband and wife

How to be a good friend and find a good friend.
Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice.
Proverbs 27:9 NIV

How to be a good friend and find a good friend.

Examine the kind of friend you are before you can understand the kind of friendship you seek.

Self improvement and ability to put myself in somebody else’s shoes begins with questions.
  1. Am I a friend of everyone?
  2. Do I test everything—hold on to good and abstain from evil?
  3. Do I take time to listen, be reflective and encourage others?
  4. Are people comfortable in my home?
  5. Do I prioritize how to spend time with things that matter?
  6. Do I work hard on priorities that are in order?
  7. Am I willing to serve with a cheerful heart?
  8. Do I value learning about others in order to show respect?
  9. Do I seek and apply courage in uncomfortable situations?
  10. Am I willing to take on leadership and responsibilities?
  11. Do I trust God with every aspect of my life?
  12. Is intelligence a virtue I strive for?
  13. How do I rate with integrity?
  14. Is my good reputation compromised by bad choices?
  15. Where do I go to gain wisdom?
  16. Whom do I look up to and why?
  17. Do I understand my place in life?
  18. Is everything clear, so I’m confident; or do I need more time to analyze things?
  19. How do I discern—upon what do I base decisions? 
  20. Am I seeing realistically; or blindly looking through rose-colored glasses?
  21. Can others depend on me as a source of wisdom and reason?
  22. Am I loyal, even in adversity?
  23. Am I willing to put everything on the line to follow my heart?
  24. Is my heart focused on Truth?
  25. Am I fearless to declare what I believe?
  26. Can I be looked on as the center, the rock, for many people in my life?
  27. Am I an example of a humble and contrite person?
  28. Do I understand that forgiving is essential to move forward regardless of how much success I have? 
  29. Am I willing to give things up and make changes to begin a better life?
  30. Do I exhibit faith and reverence that is rare in the world?
  31. Have I gained tremendous wisdom with all that I’ve gone through?
  32. Am I creative when it comes to enjoying entertainment with others?
  33. Am I happy and positive so that I make others feel better? 
  34. Do people feel safe and respected when they spend time with me?
  35. Do I try to control others; or am I willing to listen with an open mind?
  36. Am I disrespectfully critical; or gently honest and careful in making an effort to help others?
  37. Am I patient?
  38. Do I build others up?
  39. Are my thoughts, words and deeds kind and thoughtful?
  40. Do I pray always, with a thankful heart?

Bible verses about friendship

True friends are brothers and sisters in Christ, focusing on truth, hope and wisdom within Holy Scripture. Our Heavenly Father is the perfect picture of love, humility and grace.
A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24 ESV

Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man, Proverbs 22:24 ESV

Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy. …Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. Proverbs 27:5-6,17 ESV

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. Ecclesiastes 4:9 ESV

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. John 15:12-14 ESV

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. Proverbs 17:17 ESV

One who is righteous is a guide to his neighbor, but the way of the wicked leads them astray. Proverbs 12:26 ESV

A prayer for relationships

Dear Lord,
Lead my children, as well as each person in my friends’ and relatives’ families, to safe relationships with faithful people. Help us to trust Your Word. Forgive selfishness and pride. Lead others to be gracious to me, forgiving all wrongs I have done. Guide me to value others and be a good friend with virtuous qualities.
Amen.

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