By Tommy Rush

Did you know that if you isolate yourself from other people, you are much more likely to die an early death? Experts tell us often that isolation and loneliness negatively impact a person’s physical and mental health. Truth is we don’t really need the Experts to tell us this, because the second chapter of the Bible makes it clear. In Genesis 2:18 after God had created Adam from the dust of the earth said, “It is not good for man to be alone…”

I’ve lived long enough to know that loneliness is no respecter of persons. It can come to the young or the old, the rich or the poor. Loneliness and isolation has an effect on the heart. You probably have witnessed this yourself. We all know someone who has turned to drugs, alcohol and other bad addictive behaviors because of loneliness. Many struggle with depression and despair when they feel isolated and alone.

The message today is simple, but so important. Everybody needs somebody! We need friends in our life! And the best way to have a friend is to make it our aim to be a friend. A good friend is a person who encourages rather than discourages. They build up rather than pull down. Good friends are good listeners. We all love people who listen more than offer opinions and advice. Best of all, a great friend is one who will tell you the truth even when sharing the truth hurts.

I’m still learning, but one thing I know for sure is that friends are one of life’s greatest blessings. Few things impact our life and destiny, more than the friends we choose. And few things impact our faith and commitment to Christ more than the people around us. God’s Word tells us that we not only need a friend, but we need a savior. We can find both in Jesus. Of all the names for Him found in the Bible, “Friend of Sinners” is the one I love the most. He came into the world on a mission. John 3:16 makes it clear, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him would not perish but have everlasting life.” Jesus came to be our Lord, Savior and Forever Friend!