by Jeff Strite

He Is A Friend Of Mine - Friend Day
Jeff Strite
John 15:9-17

OPEN: Some years ago Collier's Magazine published a story about a little girl in an orphanage. She was quite unattractive and had many annoying habits, which resulted in her being shunned by the children and disliked by the staff. The director of the orphanage looked for a good excuse to ship her off to some other institution.

Now for some time it had been suspected that she was writing clandestine notes to people outside of the orphanage. And then one afternoon their suspicions were confirmed. One of the children had just reported, "I saw her write a note and hide it on a tree near the stone wall."

The director hurried to the tree and found the note, then passed it silently to his assistant. The note read, "To whoever finds this: I love you."

APPLY: Everyone has a need to be loved

Experts tell us that emotionally healthy people form meaningful ties with other human beings. They don't just exchange information They share personal things. They talk about likes and dislikes/ their joys and fears. They extend themselves to help others and they know how to accept assistance when they get in over their heads.

When they have important decisions to make, they get insight and support from their friends.

But those same experts are telling us that there is a disturbing trend going on lately. In the June issue of the American Sociological Review, researchers cited evidence that Americans have a third fewer close friends than just a couple of decades ago.

More disturbing still, the data seemed to indicate that the number of people who have nobody to count as a close personal friend has more than doubled.

The findings hold for both males and females. They are consistent for people of all races, ages, and educational levels. Even within families, the degree of intimacy has diminished considerably. All this information speaks of people who are feeling lonelier and more isolated than ever ...

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