What Makes a Good Friend?

~ Posted on Friday, July 16, 2010 at 11:33 PM ~

Here's a new article I came across that I would like to share with you guys on my blog meme:

What Makes a Good Friend?
By :  Paul Schlieker

Before we examine Proverbs to discover "What makes a good friend?" let's visit Charlie Brown. In one of Charles Schulz's comic strips "good ol' Charlie Brown" pays a visit to Lucy's five-cent sidewalk psychiatric stand. Totally dejected Charlie says to his would-be counselor, "I can't help it. I feel lonely, depressed." "This is ridiculous!" Lucy insists.

"You should be ashamed of yourself, Charlie Brown! You've got the whole world to live in!" she continues. "There's beauty all around you! There are things to do. Great things to be accomplished! No man treads the earth alone! We are all together- one generation taking up where the other generation has left off!" Slowly a smile spreads across Charlie's face as Lucy's words begin to sink in. "You're right, Lucy! You're right! You've made me see things differently, I realize now that I am part of the world. I am not alone. I have friends!" Lucy quickly replies, "Name one!"

Everyone needs friends. It is the second most basic relationship in life. Jesus said that the two most important commandments are to love God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself. We often experience God's love through the love of a friend. People usually don't care if they have a friend in Jesus until they see that they have a friend in us. Proverbs clearly tells us what makes a good friend - how to develop and maintain meaningful friendships.

#1. What makes a good friend? Faithfulness. Friends do not desert each other when times are bad.

Proverbs 17:17 - A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
Proverbs 27:10 - Do not forsake your friend and the friend of your father, and do not go to your brother's house when disaster strikes you - better a neighbor nearby than a brother far away.

One of the greatest friendships in the Bible was that of David and Jonathan. When Jonathan's father, King Saul hated David enough to kill him, Jonathan protected David. (Read the story in I Samuel 20:30-33.)

#2. What makes a good friend? Keeping confidences. Friends do not gossip.

Proverbs 16:28 - A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends.
Proverbs 11:13 - A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret.

As a friend you'll know details and secrets of your friend's life. Friends do not gossip. Gossip is telling detrimental things about another person to someone who is not a part of the problem or the solution. Friends know when to tell someone else (such as in cases of abuse) and when to keep confidences.

#3. What makes a good friend? Kindness. Friends do not carry jokes or pranks too far.

Proverbs 26:18-19 - Like a madman shooting firebrands or deadly arrows is a man who deceives his neighbor and says, "I was only joking!"

Fathers can help their children by teaching them the difference between a joke or harmless prank and going too far.

#4. What makes a good friend? Do not co-sign for each other. Friends encourage each other to live within their means.

Money is often the cause of bitterness between close friends.

Proverbs 6:1-5 - My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor, if you have struck hands in pledge for another, if you have been trapped by what you said, ensnared by the words of your mouth, then do this my son, to free yourself, since you have fallen into your neighbor's hands: Go and humble yourself; press your plea with your neighbor! Allow no sleep to your eyes, no slumber to your eyelids. Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, like a bird from the snare of the fowler.

Proverbs 17:18 - A man lacking in judgment strikes hands in pledge and puts up security for his neighbor.

When you co-sign, you accept responsibility for the debts of others. When you co-sign you are enabling your friend to buy something he cannot afford. The Bible calls that "putting up security" or being "surity."

When we were first married, we decided to buy a vacuum cleaner. Even though we had the money to buy it, the salesman told us that we could delay the payment for three months if we put it on credit. We thought that was a good idea. Why pay for it now if we can wait three months? The problem was that they wouldn't qualify us for the payment plan since we didn't have a credit history. Neither of us had ever had a credit card. The salesman suggested that we ask someone to co-sign the loan. So, we asked a Christian friend. Fortunately for us, he knew the teaching of Proverbs better than we did. He showed us these verses and refused to co-sign. We were grateful for the Biblical instruction and bought the vacuum cleaner with cash. Our friend knew what makes a good friend.

It is best to encourage your friends to buy only what they can afford. When someone wants something they can't afford, encourage them to save until they can buy it. If your friend is truly in need, it is better to give them a gift rather than to loan or co-sign.

#5. What makes a good friend? Generosity. Friends do not turn away when their friend is in need.

Proverbs 3:28 - Do not say to your neighbor, "Come back later; I'll give it tomorrow" - when you now have it with you.

We have all been given the same amount of time - 24 hours a day. Even with our busy lives, it amazes me how many people have time to give to their friends. When my wife was sick for a prolonged period of time many friends helped us. They brought in meals, did the ironing, ran errands and prayed for us. Many hours were given. Did they have nothing else to do? Were their days empty? I don't think so. These were acts of friendship.

#6. What makes a good friend? Forgiveness. Friends do not seek revenge.

Proverbs 24:29 - Do not say, "I'll do to him as he has done to me; I'll pay that man back for what he did."
Proverbs 20:22 - Do not say, "I'll pay you back for this wrong!" Wait for the Lord, and he will deliver you.

Our fallen human nature says, "Don't get mad - get even." Jesus says we must forgive - not 7 times, but 70 X 7. Other than Jesus, every friend is imperfect. We must be ready to forgive our friends, just like they have to forgive us.

#7. What makes a good friend? Bringing out the best in each other. Friends do not ask their friends to participate in sin. They look out for each other.

Proverbs 16:29 - A violent man entices his neighbor and leads him down a path that is not good.
Proverbs 22:24 - Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared.

On October 24, 2008 the Daily Mail (a British newspaper), stated that a female police constable appeared in court charged with burglary and misconduct in public office after she allegedly abused her position to help her friends commit crimes.

This 26-year-old woman is said to have passed on confidential information from police computer systems to her boyfriend and others. She is also accused of helping a friend to steal thousands of pounds from a shop by listening to traffic on her police radio to warn him if police were on his tail.

This is not the behavior of true friends.

#8. What makes a good friend? Telling the truth - even if it is "bad news". Friends do not with-hold the truth in order to save the other person's feelings.

Proverbs 27:17 - As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
Proverbs 27:6 - Wounds from a friend can be trusted.
Proverbs 27:9 - The pleasantness of one's friend springs from his earnest counsel.

A girl saw her friend doing something that was self-destructive. What would a friend do? If she confronted her or told her parents, it would certainly ruin their friendship.

A man saw a friend acting in a way that would probably destroy his friend's family. What would a friend do? In this case, he did nothing because he didn't want to lose the friendship.

True friends put the needs of a friend before their own need to keep the friendship.

We all need someone who will tell us the truth in a loving way. It is hard to grow without the help of our friends. It's never easy, but when you must tell someone the truth, use this approach: speak calmly, clearly, directly, honestly and respectfully. This is how Jesus would confront someone.

#9. What makes a good friend? Unselfishness. Friends look out for the interests of each other.

Proverbs 17:17 - A friend loves at all time.
Proverbs 18:1 - A unfriendly man pursues selfish ends.

On August 5, 1936, at the Berlin Olympic Stadium it was a little past nine in the evening. The pole vault event had lasted longer than expected.

The final three competitors were Earl Meadows of the United States and two close friends from Japan, Shuhei Nishida and Sueo Oe. The bar was at 14 feet 3 1/4 inches, which Earl Meadows cleared on his second try. Nishida and Oe missed all three attempts. The two Japanese continued to jump for second and third place, but the competition ended without a conclusion when it became too dark to continue.

"Oe and I went back to the Olympic Village certain we had tied, since we both jumped identical heights," Nishida remembered. (At that time they did not have a tie breaking rule.)

The officials decided to award the silver medal to Nishida. They never fully explained their reasoning. Oe was awarded the bronze. Nishida was not happy with the decision. When they got back to Japan both Oe and Nishida decided to cut their medals in half. Then they joined half of the silver medal with half of the bronze medal for each of them. The medals were called the Medals of Eternal Friendship.

Soon after Oe was killed in World War II. His medal is on display at the National Stadium in Tokyo. What an unselfish act on the part of a friend.

At the end of the day, what makes a good friend? Practicing the golden rule. Friends treat each other as they would like to be treated.

Jesus said, "I have called you friends." John 15:15. How does Jesus treat us? That's our best example of what makes a good friend.

How can you be a good friend?

 

I would just like to add a bit of comment with regards to this post... ever since I got my own domain and moved out of Blogger into this self-hosted website, I've been feeling pretty good and satisfied with using this blog engine. Until 3 of you awesome bloggy friends informed me that you guys are not able to leave me a comment. Seriously and honestly I had no idea how that could happened, since I could post comments and others could do so as well. Which got me thinking maybe there are many others who have been blog hopping and not able to leave me a comment too...

Anyway, I'm still trying to figure out the solutions to this. I'm definitely not giving up on this blog engine (I don't like Wordpress to be honest, so I will not even consider that) and I would just like to thank you guys for taking the trouble to inform me (via Twitter, email and even leaving me comments in my old Blogger post - which I still checked daily for my routine blog hopping activities...)

I would also like to thank my pet sister, Sheryl for telling me that my latest product review post looks weird. I didn't know this at all (sigh, sigh... my bad!) Apparently there was some code error in my product review post which if you are using Mozilla, you wouldn't even noticed anything at all, but if you are using IE, then you will see the post shown half with all the sidebars gone. Hubby helped to fix the error in the code already and everything is back to normal (I hope!)

Thank you guys, it's people like you guys that made me more determined to stay on blogging and making this blog as nice as I can so that it leaves you a good feeling after visiting here. I hope I am able to find the solutions to the commenting issues. In the meantime, thank you again, for your feedback and reading my blog.

Thank you to all of you, good friends!

* Btw, if there are any other issues or problems you encountered on this blog, I would appreciate if you could drop me a note via Twitter or an email at: imafulltimemummy (at) gmail (dot) com

Pink is for Boys, Blue is for Girls!

~ Posted on Friday, July 9, 2010 at 12:30 AM ~

Yeah you read that right! Finally I can use this post to answer people who like to ask me why I often dressed Ben in pink clothings and not get shot with weird looks as if I concocted up an answer just to reply them. Oh well, before I stumbled into these articles, I just want to explain that I think Ben's complexion is better enhanced when he wears pink shirts. And I am not the type that goes by pink is for girls, blue is for boys.

So without further adieu, in this round of "Today's Awesome Discovery", I would like to share with you the following excerpts from this 2 posts:

Post #1: http://www.colormatters.com/colors_pink.html

"In almost every culture, one stereotype emerges: pink is associated with girls, blue with boys. Unfortunately, there is no consensus of opinion on its origin.

According to Jean Heifetz, for centuries, all European children were dressed in blue because the color was associated with the Virgin Mary. The use of pink and blue emerged at the turn of the century, the rule being pink for boys, blue for girls. Since pink was a stronger color it was best suited for boys; blue was more delicate and dainty and best for girls. And in 1921, the Women's Institute for Domestic Science in Pennsylvania endorsed pink for boys, blue for girls. (When Blue Meant Yellow. pp. 20 -21)

One could argue that contemporary color symbolism confirms these associations. Blue is considered a calm, passive color, hence feminine. Red (pink derived from red) is considered active hence masculine.

On the other hand, the idea of associating blue with male babies may stem back to ancient times when having a boy was good luck. Blue, the color of the sky where gods and fates lived, held powers to ward off evil, so baby boys where dressed in blue. In Greece a blue eye is still thought to have powers to ward off evil. The idea of pink for girls might come from the European legend that baby girls were born inside delicate pink roses.

Another theory states that the sexual origins can be found in ancient China. At a time when certain dyes were quite rare, pink dye was readily available and therefore inexpensive. Since blues were rare and expensive, it was therefore considered to be more worthwhile to dress your son in blue, because when he married the family would receive a dowry."


Post #2: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/7817496.stm

"How different it was in the early 1900s, when blue was for girls and pink for boys.

The Women's Journal explained it thus: "That pink being a more decided and stronger colour, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl."

DressMaker magazine agreed. "The preferred colour to dress young boys in is pink. Blue is reserved for girls as it is considered paler, and the more dainty of the two colours, and pink is thought to be stronger (akin to red)."

What prompted the switch is unclear, but it had been made by the time Adolf Hitler ordered the classification of homosexuals. Those deemed "curable" were sent to concentration camps and labelled with a pink triangle. This suggests that by then, pink was associated with femininity.

But some commentators now believe pink dominates the upbringing of little girls, and this may be damaging."

Shocking huh?! I didn't even know of this before! But even if I have never come across these articles, I still love to see Ben wearing pink clothings.

He just looks absolutely handsome and dashing in pink! Don't you think? Cool

Ben @ 8 months old...

Ben @ 9 months old...

Ben @ 16 months old...

What is Gravatar?

~ Posted on Wednesday, July 7, 2010 at 6:23 PM ~

Ladies and gentlemen, I feel I really should share out this with you guys. It's definitely not a professional lesson, more like a mini tutorial from me, a knowledge transfer I'd say. I think from now on, if I learned any new things that I can think can benefits you guys who are passionate about blogging, I'd like to share it out through my own blog meme, which is:

So, what is a Gravatar? No, no, not Avatar. I meant, GRAVATAR. With the letter "GR" in front. According to the website,

"Gravatar is an image that follows you from site to site appearing beside your name when you do things like comment or post on a blog. Avatars help identify your posts on blogs and web forums, so why not on any site?"

Errmm... does any of that make sense to you? Put it to simple lay-man words, Gravatar is an icon that represents you, an image in this sense that whenever you go to other people site or when you leave your comments, your icon/image will appear right where your identity is. If you are using Blogger, then your profile picture will be the one showing. But you see, nowadays, Blogger is not the only thing available for people to use on their blog or website. There are Wordpress and other blog host as well. So this is where Gravatar comes in handy.

If you noticed my blog, some of the people who left their comments have this funny looking images next to their profile:

Now it's definitely not my blog visitor / reader's choice to have that funny looking image as their profile picture. It's just that I like to imagine the people who left me a comment really looks funny like that hahaha... kidding kidding...

Back to being serious, now this is because on my blog template, it is defaulted that comments are to use Gravatar images to show the user's profile. If the person's email address is not found in the Gravatar's database, then this funny looking images will be shown - cos this is from the Wavatar settings in my blog template.

Meaning, when you leave me a comment, my blog template will search the Gravatar database using your email address. If they finds it, they will show your image next to your comment in my post. Else, the funny Wavatar icons will be shown. There are many other websites and blogs out there and a lot of them are using the same method, only that most of them choose Monster ID or Identicon instead of mine, which is Wavatar.

Monster ID icons looks like these:

Identicon icons looks like these:

As I'm no longer using Blogger, I cannot use the user's Google profile picture to show on their comments, hence Gravatar is the best choice. When you leave a comment on my blog post, you will notice a short description right next to the email entry which says " (Will show your Gravatar icon) " - this is because Gravatar extracts your image using your email address. I can of course select MonsterID or Identicon to show as your profile image but I prefer to use Wavatar instead. 

Simply put, to create your profile on Gravatar, you just need to enter your email address and upload your image into their site. Easy peasy! Of course, just a note of advise, if you are serious about blogging and establishing your own identity and also your blog identity, you'd want to design your profile image as close to your blog template. This is to make people associate the image with your blog whenever they see it!

You can click at this link to start creating your own Gravatar now! That's all the mini tutorial I have for now. Will post more when I came across any new stuff! Or feel free to drop me a comment or email and if I know how to do it, I'll be glad to share it in the next post, else I'll try my best to find out if I don't know about it. Cheers!