This post is part three of a five-part series on friendship.
I wrote earlier about friendship being part of God’s design. You could even say it is part of our DNA. I also mentioned in a previous post a benefit of friendship – that it halves our sorrows and doubles our joys.
Here are two more benefits to friendship:
1. We become wiser.
Consider these three proverbs:
- Proverbs 11:14– “Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.”
- Proverbs 15:22– “Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.”
- Proverbs 24:6– “for by wise guidance you can wage your war, and in abundance of counselors there is victory.”
Those who isolate themselves end up robbing themselves of great wisdom.
One word of caution here: be sure not just to use people for their advice. Sometimes people who otherwise would be unwilling to talk with others will seek someone’s help. That’s fine, but it is missing out on the wisdom that would be gleaned through a friendship.
Wisdom isn’t always shared through advice given. Wisdom is acquired through observation as well as conversation. You can’t observe wise decisions/living unless you are spending time with people.
2. We can accomplish more.
The Apostle Paul took people on missions trips with him, sent people ahead of him, and left people behind. Why did he do that? He did so because he knew that he could accomplish much more through partnerships. It also seems that the best partners for Paul were his friends. This is one reason why the disagreement over John Mark was so sharp. There was much more than a partnership at stake.
C.S. Lewis (author of Chronicles of Narnia) and J.R.R. Tolkien (author of the Lord of the Rings) were good friends. Two years after Lewis died, Tolkien reflected on Lewis’s role in his life:
The unpayable debt that I owe to him was not “influence” as it is ordinarily understood, but sheer encouragement. He was for long my only audience. Only from him did I ever get the idea that my “stuff” could be more than a private hobby. But for his interest and unceasing eagerness for more I should never have brought the L. of the R. to a conclusion.
Prioritize friendships, you will get wisdom and will accomplish much more.