Proverbs 17:17A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”and 27:9Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.”

Benefits of Friendship

Pastor Jeremy Scott wisely organized a recent men’s event with food and a challenge. The food was from Buffalo Wild Wings. The challenge was to develop friendships using the “wingman” metaphor. To be clear, a wingman is a military pilot whose aircraft is positioned behind and outside the leading aircraft in a formation. In other words, the wingman flies with you and is there for your protection and to join you in the fight. The wingman helps you achieve your goals and has your best interests in mind.

We won’t do many things unless we can see benefits. Having good and worthwhile friendships is costly in time and often in dollars. Why bother? I want to take the time to recap five benefits of friendship and how they have played out in my life. The first one Pastor Jeremy presented was “We get half the sorrow and double the joy.” This was a summary from J.C.Ryle: “This world is full of sorrow because it is full of sin. It is a dark place. It is a lonely place. It is a disappointing place. The brightest sunbeam in it is a friend. Friendship halves our troubles and doubles our joys.

One of my dear friends, Tim Olander, halved my troubles by being an encouragement when I was down and by praying for me and with me. One time our car was broken down and he loaned me his car. That halved my troubles. He also was a bright sunbeam of joy. I could not resist his smile and his laughter. We enjoyed life together, including taking our families on a Mississippi River houseboat vacation together.

Ray O., Jason O. and Matt W. rolling a tire up the hill so they can roll it down. Great fun!

Happiness is difficult to sustain. Friendship will play a role in your happiness, but it takes time and it is often not sustainable. Nathan Rittenhouse asks a good question: “Is happiness sustainable?” No. We need to factor in time. “Happiness is not something you can find. Get the conditions right and then wait.” For me, the conditions for setting the conditions right were in setting my priorities and then seeking people who had similar goals and priorities. This fits in marriage, in work choices and in friendships.

LINK:  Nathan Rittenhouse Video