A wise old farmer was working beside the road when a family moving to a nearby town stopped and asked him if that town was “friendly.” The farmer said he could not really say. But the people pressed him for an answer, so he asked them what the town was like that they came from. They answered that it was terrible – the people were rude and small-minded. The old farmer replied, “That is just how you will find this town.”No matter what our disposition, we need to work at friendliness. We need to be consciously cheerful. We need to ask questions. We need to place ourselves in situations where friendships breakfast group, men’s retreats, and, especially, service in some ministry of the church. Women are so much better at this than men. We must learn from them to take the initiative. The deepest of friendships have in common this desire to make the other person royalty. They work for and rejoice in the other’s elevation and achievements. There are no hooks in such friendships, no desire to manipulate or control, no jealousy or exclusiveness – simply a desire for the best for the other. Dostoyevski had the idea when he wrote: “To love a person means to see him as God intended him to be.”
Do you have the great fortune to have such a deep friend?
Excerpt: Disciplines of a godly man. By R. Kent Hughes