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Be Friendly

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BE FRIENDLY 

Scripture: I Samuel 18:1–9, 19:1–7, 20:1–42; Proverbs 19:4–6, 27:6–10; John 15:13

Memory verse: Proverbs 17:17
"A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity."

Lead—In

Ask the students why they like to be around their close friends. Guide the discussion to the idea that friends have similar likes and dislikes. Stress that many times we pick up traits and habits from our friends because we spend a lot of time with them. We become identified with the people with whom we associate. This can be either good or bad.

Stress the importance of being careful when choosing friends. Explain to the students that today’s study describes true friendship qualities to look for in others and to develop themselves.

Hearing God’s Word

Take a few moments to think about your best friend.

Ask: “What qualities or characteristics about that person make him or her special friend?” (Allow responses.)

(Ask the students to name some important characteristics of their friends. List these on the chalkboard.)

Put yourself in another person’s place. Think about your own personality from that person’s point of view. Then ask yourself, “What qualities or characteristics do I have that would make others want to be my friend?” (Allow response.)

Sometimes our view of friendship is a bit one-sided. We tend to think only of what qualities we want others to have and how we want them to treat us. It is important to realise that a good friendship requires two people. We should not expect others to treat us kindly and fairly if we are not willing to do the same to them.

True Friends are a Blessing

God’s Word has some important things to say about friends and friendship. This week’s memory verse touches on one important quality a friend should have. “A friend loves at all times” (Proverbs 17:17). (Recite the verse with the class.)

Solomon, in his God-given wisdom, recognized that a real friend is someone who will stick by you no matter what happens. A true friend is loyal during the good times and the bad.

Friends Who Come and Go

Some people call themselves “friends” as long as everything is going great, but they disappear when trouble comes. These are “come and go” friends. They are great friends as long as things are going well, but if you start going through a hard time, they are nowhere to be found.

Remember the story of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11–32). He had a lot of fun as long as his money lasted. He probably had more “friends” than he could count. But what happened when all his money was spent? (Ask a student to read Luke 15:16.) He had no friends! He had no one who was willing to help him get out of the mess he had gotten himself into. His “friends” liked him only as long as he had money to spend.

This is exactly what Solomon was referring to when he wrote Proverbs 19:4, 6. (Ask a student to read these verses aloud.) Everyone likes to be around someone who buys them gifts or spend money on them. However, friends who have to be bought are not really friends.

The Price of Popularity

Money is not always the issue in friendships. Other things can affect a friendship just as much. Popularity is one of these.

Popularity can be expensive. The desire to be well-liked and accepted by others at school can be very intense. Some students are willing to do almost anything to stay popular, even if it means doing things they know are wrong. Some students are afraid that if they do not do those things, they will not be liked. Often, when a student becomes popular, he will quickly abandon old friends because they are not in the popular group. He associates only with people who help his new “image.”

Think about this: If your friends reject you for doing what is right, they are not really worth having as friends. A true friend will not want you to do wrong. True friends stick with you at all times. (Say the memory verse again.)

Friendship Versus Our Testimony

As Christians, we have an obligation to God and to others to take a stand for what we know is right, regardless of what others think or do. When we do take a stand, others will have greater respect for us, even if they do not say so out loud. If we go along with wrong things others are doing and show no concern for our Christian witness, people will assume our relationship with Jesus is not important. They will not feel the need to serve God if we treat our salvation lightly. We need to show the importance of our relationship with God by doing and saying things that please God.

A true friend will stand by you and your beliefs. You may be rejected and hurt by others, but as long as you have a friend who will stand with you, the situation will not seem nearly so bad. Do you have a friend like that? Are you that kind of friend to someone else?

Jesus is that kind of friend. The Bible says He will never leave you. If you have Jesus in your life, you will never stand alone. Even if it seems everyone else has forgotten you, Jesus is always with you.

Loving Correction

Solomon wrote some unusual words in Proverbs 27:6 that reveal another important part of friendship. He wrote, “Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.”

Ask: “What do you suppose Solomon meant by that?” (Allow responses.)

The word wounds can also be translated “scolding, rebukes or criticisms.” Solomon meant that a true friend will scold us when we need correction, when we have done wrong, and it may hurt us for a moment. Later, however, we will probably find that their correction has helped us. When a friend, because he cares about us, points out a sin we have committed, it can help us make needed changes in our lives. We need to be willing to listen to those who care about us. Sometimes they can see faults we may not notice.

In that same proverb, Solomon also warns us to beware of those who shower us with “kisses” or flattery, but who are really trying to take advantage of us. Some people pretend to be our friends just to get something from us. Once they get what they want, they are no longer our friends. A true friend is completely trustworthy. He will not be our friend because of wrong motives.

An Example of Friendship

The Bible tells about a wonderful friendship—David and Jonathan. In many ways their friendship is a model for all of us to follow. Let us think about some of the reasons this friendship was such a good one.

David spent much of his early life out in the fields taking care of his father’s sheep. Jonathan, on the other hand, was a prince. His father, King Saul, ruled over all of Israel. Jonathan could have easily started to think he was better than David. After all, Jonathan could have associated with anyone he wanted.

Before he met Jonathan, David had helped Israel’s army by defeating Goliath.

Ask: “Can anyone remember how David killed Goliath?” (Allow responses.)

Shortly after defeating Goliath, David received more honours. (Ask a student to read 1 Samuel 18:5–7.) These things made David a well-known and respected military leader. How did this affect Saul’s feelings toward David? (Ask a student to read 1 Samuel 18:8, 9.)

Ask: “How could this have affected Jonathan’s feelings toward David?” (Allow responses.)

Jonathan was Saul’s oldest son. This meant that he was entitled to become king after his father’s death. Jonathan could have felt threatened by David. As his friendship with David grew, Jonathan must have sensed that God had specially appointed David to lead the nation of Israel. Did this affect their friendship? Jealousy or hard feelings between David and Jonathan are not indicated in the Bible. David and Jonathan’s friendship was based on sincere love, respect, and admiration. So deep was their friendship that they were willing to risk their lives for each other.

What did Jesus have to say about this kind of relationship? (Ask a student to read John 15:13.)

Accepting God’s Word

A good step toward developing lasting friendships is having a right relationship with the greatest Friend of all—Jesus Christ. He is a model of what a friend should be. Jesus cares so much about us that He was willing to die so we could have our sins forgiven. If we have accepted Him as our Saviour and Lord, He is always with us. He is our best Friend. He is the best Friend anyone could ever have.

Hui Food and Drink

The Hui people prefer wheat-based food to rice-based food. Noodles are a staple food of the Hui, and they make various dishes out of wheat flour. Sweets play an important role, probably related to Arabian Muslims' preference for a sweet taste. Under the Islamic influence, the consumption of beef and mutton in their diet is large, and the meat of pigs, dogs, horses, donkeys, mules, and beasts of prey is forbidden. The Hui are forbidden to eat pork, but that prohibition is often overlooked by calling the meat "mutton."

The Hui people are particular about beverages. They only drink water from a flowing or clean source. It is not acceptable for people to take a bath, wash clothes or pour dirty water around sources of drinking water. The Hui people also like to drink tea and use it as a treat for their guests.

REMEMBER TO PRAY!
Pray for Dedicated Workers

1. Hui believers commit to living a godly life in every circumstance,
2. Holy Spirit to urge believing youth to offer themselves for service among the Hui,
3. Messengers willing to go to the Hui even if it means suffering and persecution for preaching the gospel among them.

Prayer Promise

"I urge you ...to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God" (Romans 12:1).

Remember: BE FRIENDLY

Memory verse: Proverbs 17:17
"A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity."

1. Everyone needs a good friend.
2. Jesus is my best friend.
3. I will model the values of Jesus to my friends.

Pray for Chinese workers in my country to meet a true believer in Christ.

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Study 8 | Migrants—Proverbs | africaatts.org/go-teach

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