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Let me make a little confession, I never really have that thing called ‘best friend’. I don’t have that friend I would call when I am in a serious need for encouragements and support but I have always been that best friend to some other persons even though they may not want to use that word to define our relationship. For some years now, I have been counseling people, coaching people, helping people overcome certain challenges in ways I can but it has always been difficult to get such help for myself from people. Now, this is not a call for such responsibility from people, I am only trying to say that certain times, people are who we assume faces no challenges are in dire need of at least a friend.

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How about our Pastors? From Monday to Sunday they are in Church, studying, teaching and making disciples out of their members! They keep listening to problems and keep proffering solutions! They are waked in the midnight to pray for a sick member or encourage a heart broken member via the phone and some of them are even pressured into giving financial assistance to members when they are in serious need too. On Sunday morning you see them dance, laugh and jubilate in Church as though nothing bothers them but when you come close you realize that some of these Pastors are in dire need of friends. I don’t mean well wishers, I mean friends! Well, I am not trying to be peculiar about Pastors on this subject, I just have to use that instance though it is beyond public figures.

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Be the gift someone has been praying for, be that help someone has believed God for. When God brings people close to you, be a blessing to them and give them reasons to really miss your absence. Don’t just want people to be a blessing to you, be a blessing to them too and make it your habit to love beyond conditions. Many times we are just looking for what to get from a person rather than what to give. I met a young girl who kept complaining that her fiancé isn’t being as much financially responsible to her as supposed, I didn’t have to argue if he is even supposed to be financially responsible to her, I only asked her what she has been investing in that relationship or is it just one person who bears the burden of it? This is a serious reoccurrence among young people and even certain marriage these days! People are only interested in what to receive and not what to give.

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There are people who simply need encouraging words like “don’t worry, everything is all right. We are in this together”, there are people who just need a second of encouragement and they will never give up on their dreams. Certain people give up, not because they lacked capitals or resources but because they lacked just that one friend who would be willing to stand by them, pat them on the back and give them a shoulder to lean on. No wonder Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 5:11 saying “…encourage and help one another”. When you meet that person who is ready to encourage you and also get encouraged by you, you’ll go farther with such than someone who is only interested in what they can get from you. In fact, this is how Christians needs to act generally towards each other. The early Church would sell their properties to assist one another and all of that!

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When I served in Amazing Grace YAC as the Chapter president, I had serious challenges in the beginning of my leadership. I would do all manner of publicity, pray all manner of prayers and still won’t get an encouraging turn out in the fellowship. I would spend my entire savings to print materials and even get study resources I’d be giving out to some persons but I will always be disappointed with the results. I lacked satisfaction at that time, I knew the Lord has called me into what I was doing but knowing it wasn’t enough, I was beginning to get tired and completely fed up! One Sunday afternoon, I was at the fellowship crying, I even made up my mind to give up and suddenly one of our very committed members then surfaced, her name is Edith. She brought me chicken and sat close to me to encourage me. As I enjoyed the delicacy, she also served me great words saying “don’t give up, if you do, what do you expect of those of us who are looking up to you? Things are getting better with our fellowship”. God! That was the only thing I needed at that time, first I was very hungry but I didn’t even notice and I was being depressed by the results I was seeing in the fellowship. She came at the right time and it was those exact words that encouraged me to keep moving. Had she come to burden me with another responsibility? I might get even more depressed!

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Do not neglect certain people that come into your life or try to suck out the very last strength in them. When you become the burden and they become the burden bearer without having their own burdens been lifted from them, they will get tired and fed up with you because you have not been a blessing to them. This is what you must consciously do, it’s not something you do by accident, it is something you deliberately do and cheerfully. This is not about romantic relationships, this is about friendship!

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Now, I would want you to think!

What have you been able to contribute in your marriage, organization or relationships? Are you lifting someone’s burden or are you just interested in what you can gain materially? I was once counseling a young girl who would always have problems in her relationships when she said “Sir, I actually don’t want to cage myself”

“How do you mean?” I asked

“Ermm… I just want a man who understands me and care…” I wouldn’t let her to finish before I cut in “Oh yes! Just as that man needs your understanding and care too! Maybe you’re the one who doesn’t really care and that is why they come and find no reason to stay”

I went further to explain to her that relationships which aren’t just romantic but including business relationships are responsibility! You don’t agree to be in a relationship where it is one person that is responsible! Relationship is a responsibility to sacrifice your comfort and start considering another. When we talk about faithfulness in relationships, we are talking about being responsible in it. God never created man to function alone! So many years back, I never liked admitting I needed a friend, I was too religious about it that if you ask me I would just smile and say “I have Jesus, I don’t need it”, yet I was dying to talk to someone and share my worries with him or her. If having Jesus is enough reason to be a lone wolf, Paul wouldn’t have said “…encourage one another”

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Be that gift of friendship to someone, be that blessing and be that person who will inspire another to greatness! Don’t waste your energy in criticizing people and hating them, hate has never helped anyone before, including the hater! Use that energy to love… This may be the answer to that dying relationship, this may be the answer to the reason why it seem things haven’t been going well with you and people…. 

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Even when people walk away from you, let there be a story they cannot walk away from, a story that says “he or she has been the best… He or she made me better. He or she is a gift”.

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God bless you.

#GracefulGeorge

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