21st Century Community
Lynn Cowell

"Do not forsake your own friend or your father's friend nor go to your brother's house in the day of your calamity; for better is a neighbor nearby than a brother far away." Proverbs 27:10 (NKJV)

When I moved to Charlotte, it was one of the loneliest times of my life. I was pregnant with my third child, in a new city with no church and no close friends. When Madi was born, I quickly realized just how badly I missed my small group back in Davenport, Iowa. There were no hospital visits from friends, no meals from my group and no play dates for my other two children from friends who wanted to help. These were all things I had experienced with my second child; I realized just what they meant to me when I no longer had them.

With email and internet, community has taken on a new meaning. Some ministries have "online communities" and bloggers everywhere have friends all around the world. Technology has done some amazing things for us when it comes to friendships.

But what happens when you need a friend to hold you? To come and lay hands on you and pray for you? To bring you a meal for dinner because you are sick? It is at times like these that we need the kind of community that comes from neighbors and those who live nearby.

Recently, a dear friend called me and said, "Lynn, can you come over?" She didn't need to say any more. My friend wasn't physically sick; she was heart sick. I was there within 20 minutes. Later on that day, supper was there for her too. These are the types of friendships that we need and can depend upon day in and day out. You just can't fully get that when your community doesn't live in your community!

Proverbs 27:10 encourages us, "Do not forsake your own friend or your father's friend nor go to your brother's house in the day of your calamity; for better is a neighbor nearby than a brother far away." When I was growing up, I remember my mother having a friend over some afternoons for coffee. They didn't have to make an appointment on their calendars to meet at Starbuck's a few weeks down the road.

Sometimes, I wish I lived in those days of a slower pace of life. Obviously, I don't, but I can still invite a friend, spur of the moment, to come over for tea and chat about the important and not so important things in life.

Far away friends are great; I am so thankful for each and every one that I have. But in the middle of our fast paced, email raced society, let's not neglect our relationships that are right outside our front door. A friend when in need is a friend indeed!

Dear Lord, help me to slow down enough to embrace the friendships you have placed in my life. And if I am lacking true friends, please open my eyes to those in front of me who would be just that. Not only may I find true friends, Lord, but make me one as well. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do You Know Jesus?

A Life That Says Welcome, Simple Ways to Open Your Hearts and Home to Others by Karen Ehman

Girlfriends' Road Trip CD by Renee Swope

Visit Lynn’s blog

Application Steps:
What friendships do you have that have been neglected lately? What can you do to show these friends they are important to you?

If your life lacks deep friendships, make a commitment to meet some new friends. Think of where you can go to meet some new people. Bible study or small group at church? Taking an exercise class? Having a tea in your home for your neighbors? Volunteer at the school, or for a ministry?

Is there some reason in your life that you do not have deep friendships; possibly a healing that needs to take place?

Power Verses:
Ecclesiastes 4:9, "Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work:" (NIV)

Ecclesiastes 4:10, "If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!" (NIV)

© 2009 by Lynn Cowell. All rights reserved.

Labels: , ,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am praying about a friendship that has been set aside for a time because of my own issues and wondering how to deal with certain aspects of personalities....your blog today is the start of an answer I have been praying about...

It is painful and scary....and I ask for prayer for wisdom and discernment in the situation....so that if I do rekindle it, it will grow healthier and stronger and be good for both of us.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been burned by so many "friendships",the saying is true,with friends like you who needs enemies

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I admit I have let some of my friends down, neglected them or sadly dropped them maybe even when they needed me most so I am definitely at fault here and feeling it greatly. Of course, people have let me down but that is no excuse. When I think of people that have let me down or abandoned me, it hurts and I give it to God. Aboveall, I remember that Jesus is My Very Best Friend and He never lets me down even though I don't do right by others. I am so glad for His forgiveness and pray that I will always follow His example. Letting the Holy Spirit empower me to be the person, the friend that He wants me to be.

Anonymous Jessica said...

I am praying that God will send me a true friend. I deeply long for friendship. I do have two friends, but I find out that they talk about my children behind my back. I need a friend that loves my children, and one that loves Jesus. Please pray that the Lord will send one my way.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I understand Jessica's pain about 'friends' talking about her kids. I live out of town and am hurting for friendships.

Post a Comment


Site Search
Recent Devotions
Articles About...
Grab our button!