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Pastor Scott L. Harris
Grace Bible Church, NY
March 18, 2011
Proverbs on Friendship, Part 1
Thank you for praying for me while I was in California. It was good to see both my family and Diane’s folks and be able to help out with some projects they needed done around their homes. Living so far away we cannot help with the things that come up throughout the year, so it is a privilege to be able to help out with a few repair projects while I am out there. We enjoyed being able to catch up on each other’s lives. I was also able to visit with some of our many friends there and catch up on what the Lord has been doing in their lives as well.
The Shepherd’s Conference was also very good. The Lord blessed us with great weather and good speakers to challenge us from His word. And as is my custom, I was able to spend a lot of time with friends, both old and new. It is always a wonder to see how the Lord brings about who you end up sharing a meal with or just talking during a break. You rejoice with those who are in the midst of great blessing as they see their ministries go forward in reaching their communities with the gospel message, and you weep with those who have run into strong opposition by the minions of our adversary that cause such turmoil in churches. I was able to pray with and encourage several men that have been walking difficult roads and be able to direct them to some resources that will help them as they consider what the Lord would have them do next.
One interesting encounter I had was with a man named John that I had met a couple of years ago when he was in his first year of seminary. He happened to sit down at a table I was at during a break and in the course of the conversation I found out he was new to the area and having a terrible time finding a good doctor that could diagnose and treat his wife’s severe back problems. I was able to direct him to an excellent back doctor there that had treated Diane’s back many years ago. I had not heard what had come about as a result of that until this year when he saw me sitting at a table eating lunch and came over to talk with me. He told me that not only had her back problem been diagnosed, but the underlying problem had also been diagnosed so that she could receive the appropriate treatment. While a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis is hard news to receive, it was a cause of rejoicing for them because now they at last knew what they were dealing with and it was not some sort of mental instability that some of the earlier doctors had suggested as the cause. He thanked me and talked about how the Lord had been providing for them. I was then able to I pray for them thanking the Lord for His many kindnesses toward them, but also to plead for His mercy as they not only faced the progression of this disease in the future, but also considered where they would serve the Lord after his graduation in May.
Being able to meet with friends both old and new while at a conference in another state brings me to the subject of the sermon this morning for Proverbs has a lot to say about friends, neighbors and relationships. If we are to be good friends and have good friendships, then we will be wise to pay attention to the many Proverbs that speak to these topics. The gulf is very wide between true friendship and what passes for friendship in the world.
Let me begin by briefly explaining the various levels of friendship and then address the extremes that can occur in friendship which range from isolation to inundation. After that I will look at some cautions concerning friendship. There are some people who are of such an evil nature that you will want to flee from them, while there will be many others that you can befriend, yet you must be very cautious about them because of their character qualities. Finally, I want to address the qualities that mark a good friend. The qualities that you want to develop within yourself so that you can be a good friend are the same qualities that you will want to look for in finding a good friend. We will probably not be able to work through all of this in one week for this is an important topic and worthy of careful consideration.
Levels of Friendship
It is interesting that in studying the concept of friendship in the book of Proverbs you quickly find out that the same word most commonly translated as friend, reya’ (ray’ah), is also often translated as neighbor. As is common with the Hebrew language, the difference in usage is determined by the context of the passage. Yet, this shows from the beginning that friendship is not something dependent on common interests and desires, though that certainly helps. It is something that should be able to be developed with anyone including those who happen to live in close proximity. This gives a lot more force to Jesus’ story of the good Samaritan in Luke 10. Who is the one that loves his neighbor? It is the one that will treat even a stranger who is in close proximity as a dear friend.
That being said, I want to point out that we are limited in our friendships due to physical, mental and emotional factors. Time and distance are the greatest factors for there are billions of potential friends if we could communicate and lived near each other and in the same age. You can’t be friends with those who lived and died before you were born, nor can you be friends with the billions of people that live in other places that you will never meet. In addition, people will have different capacities for friendship. Some people can handle more relationships that others. This will be a brief summary of a more detailed handout I have in placed in the back of the church.
First, there are the multitudes. These are the people you do not know but whose life intersects with yours at various points. You may recognize that you have met before, but you know little to nothing about them. Jesus ministered to the multitudes in more general terms (Matthew 4:25). You may meet hundreds to thousands of people at this level in a year.
Next are acquaintances. These are people you know slightly. Within the multitudes there were those Jesus ministered to on a more personal level as he learned their specific needs. This would include the man born blind (John 9) or the woman at the well (John 4). You will learn their name and some general information about them. Conversations become deeper and can include questions about their thoughts and opinions. Gregarious people with good memories can have thousands of acquaintances, but most of us limit out in the 300-500 range because we can’t recall the name.
The third level is casual friend. We know more personal information about them including things such as general strengths and weaknesses, hopes and desires. The level of trust is deeper so that you can talk about more personal issues. Casual friends of Jesus would have included people such as Nicodemus (John 3) and the 70 disciples He sent out to minister (Luke 10). Most people can handle 20 -100+ active casual friends depending on their breadth of social contacts and gregariousness.
The next level is close friends. These are people that know specific personal information and have a mutual trust that allows more vulnerability. They help one another achieve goals and desires and overcome weaknesses. There is regular communication which can include
all levels including thoughts and emotions. There are several types of close friends. Close associates would arise from situations such as work, fellowship groups, hobby clubs and such. Close personal friends are those relationships you have maintained over the years by mutual choice. And mentor relationships are between a teacher and a disciple. Jesus had close associates through His family and community, close personal friends such as Lazarus, Mary & Martha (John 11 & 12) and a mentoring relationship with the Twelve apostles (Matthew 10). Most people can handle 10 – 30 active close friends with an additional 30+ in which there is not regular contact, but are picked up again at that level again when there is contact.
Finally there are intimate or “best” friends. These are the people you desire to be with above all others. It is a quality friendship developed over months and years which has been tested and proven true. These are the people to whom we can safely pour out your soul and be accepted, but yet will also lovingly rebuke as needed. This is the friend that will sacrifice for you and you can count on when in need. Peter, James and John formed an inner circle of intimate friendship with Jesus. Your spouse should fit into this category, if not, then you need to work on your marriage. Most people have a capacity of 1 – 6 intimate friends with the average being four.
Before I move onto the next point, I also want you to understand that people can move up and down these levels of friendship. Someone in the multitude can rise to become an intimate friend, and a current intimate friend may move down in level due to many factors, the most often being the lack of time due to moving to distant location, conflicting schedules, or change of interest. As long as the friendship did not end in conflict, these usually become inactive close friends. You pick up the relationship immediately at a very close level when you can get together. That is true for Diane & I with our many friends in California or those around the country that were once part of this church but moved away.
With these levels of friendship in mind, let me now point out the foolishness of isolation and the dangers of inundation.
The Foolishness of Isolation
Isolation is the condition of having extremely few or no true or close friends. There are many reasons that a person may seek to separate himself from others with a few being legitimate if the time frame is kept short. Jesus separated Himself from others for short periods so that He could pray without being interrupted. Mark 1:35 records, “And in the early morning, while it was still dark, [Jesus] arose and went out and departed to a lonely place, and was praying there.” It would also be legitimate to isolate yourself if you have a contagious disease so that you would not cause others to get sick. The Mosaic Law even required this for certain diseases (Leviticus 13). It would also be legitimate to isolate yourself if you are upset and need a little time to calm down and get control of yourself. Proverbs 29:22 warns that “An angry man stirs up strife, And a hot-tempered man abounds in transgression.” However the time to calm down should be a matter of minutes or hours since Ephesians 4:26-27 warns us to deal with things quickly and not let them fester – “Be angry, and [yet] do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity.”
So there are a few legitimate reasons to isolate yourself from others for short periods, however, Proverbs 18:1 exposes the problem and wrong motivation that makes most cases of isolation foolish. “He who separates himself seeks [his own] desire, He quarrels against all sound wisdom.”
The motivation to separate is selfishness whether it is from self-protection or expediency or just plain pride. Notice the thrust of this proverb. Isolation rises out of seeking your own desire and that is in conflict with sound wisdom. It is in contention with those things that are right and good and will help you do the right thing and become a person of good character. How so? Let us consider some of the reasons people isolate themselves from others – and keep in mind, that this separation may be physical or just emotional. There are plenty of people who isolate themselves in the midst of a crowd. They keep people at a distance by keeping the relationships superficial. They may even talk a lot and tell lots of stories, but they will not reveal what they really think or feel. They put on a mask and live a facade before others and so keep them from entering their inner world. All of us are capable of this to one degree or another.
Pain is the most common reason people isolate themselves. While we may weep for the person who has been hurt so many times by so many people that they are afraid to let anyone else into their personal lives, the action is still ultimately a selfish one and foolish for it is shutting out God’s general means to bring comfort and healing. While there may be cases where someone who has isolated himself eventually stumbles across the truth of God’s word and so is changed as to repent and go forward boldly in trust of God – I think of some lonely, desperate person picking up and reading a Bible left in a hotel room by the ministry of the Gideons International – but normally that will happen by someone else sharing the truth with them, showing compassion for them and encouraging them to take steps toward God, belief and the freedom that is found in Him. “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring glad tidings of good things!” (Romans 10:15b).
When a Christian isolate himself from other believers, he not only shut out the ministry of the body to him, but he removes himself from using his gifts in ministry to the rest of the body. He makes himself a sawn off appendage that will shrivel up while leaving the rest of the body handicapped. This separation is a quarrel against the wisdom of God’s design for the functioning of the church. (See 1Corinthians 12 & Ephesians 4).
We all understand the pain of conflict and the desire to avoid it. However, it is one thing to separate yourself for a few minutes and calm down so you can deal with the situation, is quite another to isolate yourself from others and not deal with the conflicts and hurts that accompany them. Living in a society that excuses nearly everything on account of past pain or of avoiding pain in the future does not help. To isolate yourself from others because of past pain, to live in fear of future pain is tragic and is contrary to God’s design for how we are to deal with living in a sin filled and cursed world. We should expect to be hurt in this world and be prepared for it. We should expect that we will experience great tragedy and pain in the future both physically and emotionally. The world is cursed and people are sinful. Even believers yield to sin and hurt one another. Keep a friend long enough and at some point they are going to disappoint you and you will disappoint them. Proverbs 20:6 even asks rhetorically, “Many a man proclaims his own loyalty, But who can find a trustworthy man.”
Consider that hurt and pain at the hands of other people started right from the beginning. Cain opposed Abel and killed him (Genesis 4). Noah and his family were opposed by the rest of the world (Genesis 6 cf. 2 Peter 2:5). Moses not only had to deal with rebellions such as those led by Korah, but even his own sister and brother opposed him (Numbers 12 & 16). David was greatly hurt by the disloyalty of Ahithophel who had previously been his friend (2 Samuel 15:12 cf. Psalm 41:9). Elijah thought he was left alone (1 Kings 19:10). Judas committed the ultimate betrayal of Jesus (Matthew 26). Demas deserted Paul (2 Timothy 4:10) and some believers even sought to cause Paul distress while he was in prison (Philippians 1:17). John had Diotrephes (3 John 1:9). Jesus told us that in the world we would have tribulation (John 16:33) and Pau
l said that “all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12). Yet, Jesus also said we are blessed and should rejoice in the midst of such pain for our reward in heaven would be great when suffering for righteousness and His name’s sake (Matthew 5:11-12). Jesus knew what Judas would eventually do from the beginning, yet still loved and embraced him for three years.
Suffering, hurt and pain are to be expected in living in a cursed world among sinners, therefore, they are not reasons to isolate ourselves. God’s plan is for us to cast our cares upon Him (1 Peter 5:7), to find peace in laying our petitions at His feet leaving the matters in His hands (Philippians 4:6,7), and to grow into maturity in the midst of the trials (Romans 5, James 1). Pain should cause us to be properly cautious, but not to disengage for that would be an abandonment of all the one another commands and therefore contrary to God’s wisdom. Lest someone take this point too far let me clearly state that we not to be masochists who seek out and embrace hurt and pain. We are simply to be people whose trust in God is such a way that we are not afraid to experience the hurt and pain that will occur in life for we know that our God is sufficient to carry us through any circumstance and sustain us in any situation as we seek to live life according to His commands and plans.
Expediency is also a poor reason for isolation. By that I am referring to those occasions in which you place your own wisdom in pursuing your plans above God’s wisdom in His commands. I will illustrate this one by an example from my own life. When I completed my undergraduate education I made plans to attend a seminary in Indiana. I committed myself to working for a year to raise the necessary funds while also learning Greek so that I would not be overwhelmed the first year at Seminary. In my own wisdom, I also determined that I would not make any new friends at the church I had started attending. I already had a few friends there and I didn’t think it would be worth the effort to develop any new close friends. A pretty poor attitude and especially so for someone that wanted to train for ministry.
An acquaintance at the Bible study I attended confronted me one day about my isolation from most of the group. He pointed out that I did not control the future, God did. As Proverbs 16:9 states, “The mind of man plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.” Proverbs 20:24 adds, “Man’s steps are [ordained] by the Lord, How then can man understand his way?” Jeremiah proclaimed the same truth saying, “I know, O Lord, that a man’s way is not in himself; Nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps” (Jeremiah 10:23). I had failed to heed the warning of Proverbs 18:1 and in separating myself was arguing that my way was better than God’s. Not only was I not able to receive the ministry other believers could have in my life, but I shut myself off from being able to minister to them. At the heart of it was selfishness. I didn’t want to put the time or energy into people that I thought I would only know for a short time.
I never did make it to that seminary. Instead I stayed where I was for another 10 years. Chris and I became good friends, led Bible studies together and were involved in encouraging each other in the relationships we developed with the young ladies that became our respective wives. His rebuke kept me from the selfishness and its related isolation that would have resulted in missing all those blessings.
Pride is the last reason I will mention this morning that leads to isolation. This occurs among those people who think they are above others and so they will only mix with those they consider to be in their own class. Pride causes all sorts of problems. Proverbs 16:18 warns, “Pride [goes] before destruction, And a haughty spirit before stumbling.” That destruction will come from both the natural consequences generated by their pride, but it will also be because of God’s opposition to them. Proverbs 16:5 warns, “Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord; Assuredly, he will not be unpunished.” James 4:6 directly states, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Humility is a key characteristic of a good friend, but pride destroys friendships. Let me expand on how pride destroys friendships and results in isolation.
The first level of isolation is purposeful. The proud do not want to be friends with those they consider beneath them. Regardless of whether the basis of that pride is wealth, social status, intellectual ability, a combination or something else, pride cuts people off from one another. In doing this the proud are already in a very dangerous position for wisdom resides in the humble, not the proud. Proverbs 11:2 warns, “When pride comes, then comes dishonor, But with the humble is wisdom.” This is an obvious quarrel with sound wisdom for in separating from those they do not consider their equals, they separate from a huge population of those who are wise. It is God’s wisdom to call out His people from among every wealth class, social strata and education level. Each has something to offer the other in the quest for all to become mature in Christ. A healthy local church will reflect the diversity within the community it serves, and within the church, it may well be that the leaders will include those who have minimal income and education for it is character that qualifies and not social position. One other thing about this I need to mention is that you do not have to be wealthy, of upper social class or have a high IQ to be proud. I have run into plenty of poor, uneducated people that were very proud and refused friendship to those who were not in similar circumstances all the while complaining about the rich and educated. Pride is a common human condition among people of every class and position.
There is hope for the proud for there will be humble people within the social strata in which they function with whom they could still be friends and learn. However, pride tends to be insidious and starts to block relationships even among those that should be considered their peers. Pride causes the pool of friends to become more narrow and focused until it is small. An offense that should be forgiven becomes the cause of ending the friendship for how dare they treat me that way. How sad that there are so many people that have fewer friends as they get older. The progress of time should allow for an increase in both the number of acquaintances and casual friends and the deepening of close friends and intimate friends. Pride is a cause for the opposite to happen for fewer and fewer people can meet the standard demanded.
There is also an unintentional isolation of the proud. If they are wealthy or of high social class they will find there will be many people that will gather around them. Proverbs 19:4, 6 and 14:20 all address this general truth – “Wealth adds many friends, But a poor man is separated from his friend, “ “Many will entreat the favor of a generous man, And every man is a friend to him who gives gifts,” and “The poor is hated even by his neighbor, But those who love the rich are many.” The motivations for such friendships are obvious in the contrasts in those Proverbs. Wealth and social status brings many people who feign to be friends because they have something they want to gain. As Proverbs 29:5 states, “A man who flatters his neighbor Is spreading a net for his steps.” These are not true friends for they will only tell the proud man what he wants to hear and not what he needs to hear. The actions of a true friend are expressed in Proverbs 27:5-6, “Better is open rebuke Than love that is concealed. 6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.”
The tragedy here is that these false friends will continue to build up their pride in order to exploit them. A man in such a situation wou
ld not be helped even if he did open up about his personal life because none of these kinds of friends will tell him the truth about what is necessary to be right with God and live in a manner that will please the Lord. They will only have their own sinful view of life reinforced.
Isolation – not having true godly friends – is contrary to sound wisdom. It is a pursuit born out of selfishness that will be contentious against God’s commands and plans. Each of us needs to have true, godly friends involved in our lives.
The Danger of Inundation
There is another danger within friendships that is the opposite extreme. Inundation is having so many friends that you are overwhelmed. It may seem strange but is true that in a world with as many means of communication and social networking as exist at this time in history, people have actually become more lonely and isolated from one another. Studies have been showing that the current generation is more lonely than previous ones even with all these communication advantages. Why? Primarily because the level of communication is not deep. The exchange of factoids – bits and pieces of information that are often random and without significance – have become the substitute for meaningful friendship. There is much surface knowledge about one another, but little in depth knowledge. People inundate themselves with acquaintances and casual friends which leave no time to develop close and intimate friends. Remember that depth of friendship is developed by going through experiences together, and the more difficult the circumstances, the deeper the relationship develops. The chatter on social networking is shallow.
Proverbs 18:24 actually gives us a warning about this. The Hebrew in this verse can be difficult. The NASB translates it as “A man of [many] friends [comes] to ruin, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” The sense is that a man of many friends will end up getting himself broken, but there is a loving friend that sticks closer than a brother.
This is an especially important warning to the facebook generation. You need to be very careful that you are taking the time to develop close and intimate friends otherwise the overwhelming number of acquaintances and casual friends will leave you isolated without the friendships you actually need to live life successfully before God. It is tragic that there are now so many people that think they have lots of friends because of some high number listed on facebook or other social network, yet when they are in trouble there is not a friend to help them. And worse, they do not have a friend that will walk with them and help them avoid the trouble in the first place by pointing out the things in their life that need to change and then helping them to do so. That is what a true friend will do.
Another problem with the social networking friendship paradigm is the idea that a person can develop close friendships by just being vulnerable. They then post information on their social network pages that should have remained personal which is then later used against them by someone who is not a friend. Gossip was a bad enough problem without computers and the internet. Proverbs 20:19 warns, “He who goes about as a slanderer reveals secrets, Therefore do not associate with a gossip.” Proverbs 11:13 points out the characteristic of a friend as opposed to a gossip – “He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets, But he who is trustworthy conceals a matter.” But what can be said when the person posts about himself for anyone on his network to see what should have remained secret?
There are already innumerable stories of those who have had their lives put into turmoil and sometimes their careers and personal lives even ruined by indiscriminately posting a picture, a story, a thought, a preference, a comment or opinion about something that should have remained private. Close and intimate friends have earned a level of trust by which you can share personal things and still be protected. They will protect your reputation while helping you with your struggles. He who is trustworthy will conceal the matter, but you do not know who is trustworthy without the time for that friendship to develop and be proven true. Be careful what you post. If you only post what will bring glory to God then you should be safe. Do not use your facebook page as a diary. Diaries are your personal thoughts that should be shared only with your most intimate friend, and with great caution even then. Do not use your social network as a substitute for developing true friendships lest you find out the truth of Proverbs 18:24 and find yourself broken and in ruin.
Neither isolate yourself or inundate yourself with friends. Seek to develop true friends whom you can trust. And especially develop your friendship with the only true friend that is closer than a brother, the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no one else that can compare. Jesus proved His loved for you on the cross at Calvary when He paid the price of your sins (Roman 5:8). He is always present and always the same (Hebrews 13:5, 8), so He is absolutely trustworthy. He is currently preparing a place for you and making intercession with the Father and will one day return so that you will be with Him forevermore (John 14:2-3, Hebrews 7:25). If you do not know Him yet as an intimate friend, talk with myself or any of our church leaders and let us introduce you to Him.
Parents, you are responsible to apply God’s Word to your children’s lives. Here is some help. Young Children – draw a picture about something you hear during the sermon. Explain your picture(s) to your parents at lunch. Older Children – Do one or more of the following: 1) Write down the scripture references and look them up later 2) Count how many times is “friend” said. 3) Discuss with your parents the levels of friendship and the danger social networking on the internet poses to developing true friends.
THINK ABOUT IT!
Questions to consider in discussing the sermon with others. What is the significance that the same Hebrew word translated as friend is also translated as neighbor? Discuss each of the following levels of friendship by defining them and describing the people fitting into each category: The Multitudes; Acquaintances; Casual Friends; Close friends (including Close Associates, Personal friends and Mentors); Intimate or “best” friend. What factors limit your capacity for friends at each level of friendship? What are some of the causes that would result in people moving up or down in the level of friendship? What are some legitimate reasons to isolate yourself from others for relatively short periods of time? What is the foolishness described in Proverbs 18:1? How does such isolation argue against sound wisdom? Why does pain cause people to isolate themselves from others? Why is that foolish? What is the result when a Christian isolates himself? What should the believer’s expectation be toward getting hurt by others? Why? What does God what us to do in response to pain? How can hurt be a blessing? How can expedience result in isolation? Why is this bad? Why is pride so dangerous? How do the proud isolate themselves from others? What kind of people does God call to himself – that make up the church? How do the poor show their pride? Why do so many people have fewer friends as they get older instead of more? How do the proud unintentionally isolate themselves? What is the danger of having too many acquaintances and casual friends? What are the dangers of social networking? How will you protect yourself? What is your level of relationship with Jesus Christ?
Sermon Notes – 3/18/2012
Proverbs on Friendship, Part 1
Levels of Friendship
The Hebrew reya'(ray’ah) is also translated as both friend and as ________________.
Friendship should be able to be developed with those living __________
We are ____________ in our friendships by distance, time and mental and emotional capacities
The Multitudes – the many people you intersect with during the course of living but ________________
Acquaintances – people you only know __________ information about.
Casual friend – some _______knowledge about them and trust enough to talk about some personal issues
Close friend – specific knowledge, mutual ____that allows vulnerability, sharing of thoughts & emotions
Close associate – arise from interaction at _____________ – church, work, hobby clubs, etc.
Close personal friends – relationships maintained over the years by ______________ choice
Mentor – a ___________ / disciple relationship
Intimate (best) friends – quality friendship that has been tested and ________loyal, greatest vulnerability
People can _________ up and down the scale of the levels of friendship
The Foolishness of Isolation – Proverbs 18:1
Legitimate reasons for short periods of isolation include __________, contamination and calming down
Most cases of isolation are motivated by ________________ which is also contrary to sound wisdom
People can be gregarious and still keep themselves _______________isolated with shallow relationships
Pain from the past and fear of pain in the future are the most common reasons people ______themselves
Isolation cuts people off from God’s normal means of proclaiming the _________and being encouraged
A Christian that isolates Himself cuts himself off from God’s design from the body life of the ________
We are compassionate toward those who have been hurt, but we _____pain in a sinful and cursed world
We should expect that people will eventually __________________ us – Proverbs 20:6
Man has caused pain to other men from the _____________ – Cain and Abel, etc.
We will have _____________in this world (John 16:33; 2 Tim. 3:12), but are blest in the midst of it (Mt. 5)
God’s plan is for us to cast our cares on Him, pray and have His peace, and ____________ to maturity
We don’t seek pain, but we are ___________________ of it because we trust God in all circumstances
Expediency elevates ____________ wisdom above God’s and is a poor excuse for isolation
God controls the ____________ of a man, not the man himself – Proverbs 16:9; 20:24; Jeremiah 10:23
Pride is also a cause of isolation and a host of other _______________ – Proverbs 16:5, 18; James 4:6
The proud separate themselves from those they consider ______________ them
The proud are separated from a large portion of population that is __________ – Proverbs 11:2
God’s people are called from out of ____________ wealth class, social strata and education level
The proud ____________ refuse friendship with those outside their own circumstances
Pride is insidious and will _____________ relationships even among those considered to be peers
Older people should have ____________ friends at all levels, not less
The proud often become isolated unintentionally because they are ____________instead of told the truth
Avoid isolation for it is selfish and contrary to sound wisdom – we all need true, godly ______________
The Danger of Inundation – Proverbs 18:24
Inundation is having so many friends that you are ____________________
The current generation with multiple means of communication is more ______that previous generations
Exchange of factoids is a poor substitute for meaningful _______________
Take __________ to develop close & intimate friends and avoid overwhelming numbers of other types
You ______________ develop close friends by posting vulnerable things about yourself
Gossips reveal ______- Proverbs 11:13, 20:19 – what can be done for those who post their own secrets?
Post only what will glorify _________ and you will be safe
Do not use your facebook or other social network page as a ____________
Do not use social networks to ________________ for developing true friendships – or risk being broken
Develop your friendship with the only true friend that will be closer than a brother – ________________
Links to the previous sermons on Proverbs
Introduction to Proverbs – Proverbs 1:1-7
Wisdom’s Call – Proverbs 1:20-33; 8:1-9:12
Warnings on Foolishness & Folly – Selected Proverbs
The Way of Righteousness – Selected Proverbs
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