Happy New Year! That one phrase was probably uttered billions of times around the world as the clock struck twelve on New Year's Eve. The fact is that no one except for God knows what is in store for us in 2018. However, the Word of God informs us that there are some significant things that we can do to keep more of the 'Happy' in Happy New Year.
First, we should take the opportunity to ask ourselves, "Who influences us?" Our relationships to others is extremely important. Do we have godly friends who can speak truth into our lives? A friend who is willing to love us enough to tell us the truth, even when it is uncomfortable, is a true friend indeed. Proverbs 27:6 tells us that, "The wounds from a friend can be trusted."
Second, we all need loyal friends. No doubt, all of us will experience a measure of disappointment and perhaps even failure of some sort in 2018. Loyal friends are there for us in life's most difficult seasons. Once again, the Word of God tells us in Proverbs 17:17, "a friend loves at all times."
Third, we need friends who strive to be 'thermostats' not 'thermometers'. Thermostats set temperature. Friends who are Christian thermostats help us refuel when we are feeling drained. They also encourage us when they see the Lord's work flowing from our lives. Or, as Hebrews 10:24 says, they "consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds."
Last, and perhaps most important - while we all need friends that exhibit these qualities, there is another significant element to the equation. It's us. We will all have a happier, spiritually prosperous New Year as we practice being THIS kind of friend to others!
Blessings, Dr. Joe