Wednesday, September 16th

Wednesday, September 16th

We saw yesterday that good relationships and friendships need a good foundation and that foundation is loyalty. Loyalty springs from our commitment to consistently extend unconditional love to another person. One's ability to love unconditionally is directly proportional to one's personal experience with God and his uncondional love. The person who is learning to love unconditionally and to be loyal in their relationships with other people will also become someone who cares deeply about and connects solidly with the needs of others. Good relationships need all the sensitivity and empathy we can bring to them and the wisdom of Proverbs gives us some great help with this as we see in the following verses:

A loud and cheerful greeting early in the morning will be taken as a curse! Proverbs 27:14

- The one who doesn't get this right either doesn't care or can't accept that their friend is hard wired not to be a morning person. Accepting and caring about the make up of others is what empathy and and sensitivity are all about.

Don’t visit your neighbors too often, or you will wear out your welcome. Proverbs 25:17

- A "wearing out your welcome" kind of person is focused on themselves and what they want from their friend and not on caring about the needs of their friend.

The godly care for their animals, but the wicked are always cruel. Proverbs 12:10

- The kind of nurture and care present in one who treats animals properly is the kind of friend we need to be.

Caring about and for the needs of others is essential for good relationships. The person who truly cares is a person who is learning the art of sensitivity and empathy. The vital element of all of this is learning to "listen" to others. Our  Proverbs 12 passage from earlier in the week speaks to this, "Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others." The more we listen the more we will be in touch with the needs of others. The more we are in touch with the needs of others, the more they will trust us and count on us. And the more others can trust us and count on us, the more we will earn the right to speak wisdom into their lives. Again, our Proverbs 12 passage from earlier in the week speaks to this quite well, "To speak an encouraging word cheers a person up. The godly give good advice to their friends."

Put together a prayer response to God for yourself and remember to incorporate our theme response for the series "Lord, I shall give thanks to You with uprightness of heart, when I learn Your righteous judgments."

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