I recently had a much needed moment of fellowship with some friends that has gotten me to realize the importance of having good strong friendships with relation to optimal health. We are social creatures created to be in fellowship. No man is an island and we are created with the desire to be with other people. We were programmed by our creator to want to communicate, relate, and be in the presence of other human beings. Now I know that some of our desires are stronger than others and that some us would rather have our faithful dog, buck, or our friendly cat, whiskers. None the less, majority of us fall on the spectrum of needing to have frequent interaction with other human beings in order to maintain functionality or normalcy. In looking at the rise of social media and how it's effecting the way in which we relate to one another, I thought it important to take a look at this topic and see if the Bible had anything to offer by way of optimal health and wellness with respect to friendship.
In looking at the Bible with respect to health and wellness, having good friends is essential to a well rounded and holistic approach to one's health. Having good, strong, meaningful relationships with others helps us reduce the many stresses of life, provide much needed support, and mature us unto perfection through accountability and counsel. Having good friends is a way to multiply the times of laughter and joy, and divide and disperse the moments of misery and sorrow!
Good friends help us to avoid deadly emotions by providing an outlet for our feelings and thoughts. Friends help provide a relief valve for some of life's deadly blows and tough situations. These emotions if left to fester in our hearts can prove deadly. We need friends to help us get these feelings out and dealt with. For instance, in looking at the story of Job, Job's friends made it a point to come and mourn with him after learning about his situation. They sat down with him and went through the mourning process with Job. They also helped job discuss how he was feeling and process what was happening with him in his life. Thus, they helped Job reduce his stress and relive himself of deadly emotions.
Good friends help provide support in times of distress. For example, in the story of Jonathon and David, Jonathon became a much needed resource to David whenever he had a need to be met. Jonathon helped provide David with clothes, equipment, insider knowledge as to the goings-on with his father Saul, and shoulders to lean on in moments of distress. Jonathon was there for David when he needed him and vice versa. David was there for not only Jonathon, but his heirs as well.
Lastly, good friends edify and help hold you accountable when needed. They have your best interest at heart and seek to see you prosper even if that means hurting your feelings. Proverbs 27:6 says, "Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful." In addition, Proverbs 27:9 states, "Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man's friend by hearty counsel."
In short, good friends help reduce stress providing outlets for deadly emotions, help to give support in times of trouble, and help hold you accountable and provide counsel with your best interest at heart.
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