Key Bible Verse: If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. – Ecclesiastes 4:10
For a runner, there is nothing as wearing or as boring as a solo workout. The workout seems endless. For this reason, I always appreciated having training partners. When I ran with them, I was stretched, pulled, and extended beyond what I thought I could do. That’s the benefit of having quality training partners. They push and press us to better performances.
To me friendships are life’s training partners; they push and press us through everyday life. Henry Van Dyke once wrote that the mark of a friend is that he makes you wish to be at your best while you are with him. Good friends, like good personal training partners, pull us forward. They make us better. They stretch us.
Good friends challenge us when they see blind spots in our lives. Poor friends have the exact opposite effect—they drag us down. That’s why I believe friends are such a critical component to a successful life and are to be chosen wisely. It does matter who we hang out with.
Proverbs 13:20 reads: “He who walks with wise men will be wise. But the companion of fools will be destroyed” (NKJV). Let us be wise people in the company that we keep and the friends that we make.
—Jim Ryun in The Courage to Run
My Response: How am I encouraging and challenging my friends? How are my friends encouraging and challenging me?
Adapted from The Courage to Run (Regal, 2006)
Prayer for the Week: Dear Father, show me how to best encourage and challenge my friends to deeper faith; show me how to support them during their struggles.