Resolve to have new friends and life becomes enriching

By Joan Clayton: PNT Religion Columnist

Friends bring sunshine and sparkle into our lives. Friends stick by us through “thick and thin.” It has been said that friends are like postage stamps. They “see us through, even if they have to take a licking.”

Let’s make one of our New Year’s resolutions to be that of making a new friend. ”A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24).

Friends, whether young or old and all the way in between are such great blessings. Make friends with neighbors. My neighbors around me are such good friends they seem like family. I love to make new friends. Each time I make one they are “keepers.”
Friends enrich and enhance our lives. It would be a great loss without them. I’ve made a list of concepts in making new friends:

Forgive. Pursue peace. Flee self-pity. Guard your words. Encourage others. Be happy. Reject negativity. Be a good example. Take a stand against wrong. Always be thankful. Live one day at a time. Weep with those who weep. Sing, pray, rejoice. Believe the best is yet to be. Find something good in everything. Smile. Laugh. Sing. Let the past be just that … the past. Have hope in spite of what the circumstances are. Fill your days with meaning and purpose. Refrain from criticizing and finding fault with others. Treat everyone as if this might be the very last time you see him or her on this earth. See every person as one of great worth because Jesus died for him or her.

Receive each new day as a gift and live that day as a gift to give back to God. Live every day of this New Year so you will leave precious memories in the lives of others. Be grateful, cheerful, helpful. Overlook offenses. Realize you have an “x” amount of time on Earth. Make it count. Lose yourself. Greet everyone with a smile. Be joyful. Wake up!

See the wonder in nature and share it. Happiness is found in being alive, a burst of enthusiasm for a butterfly, a smile of a child or running in the rain. It isn’t the years of your life but the life you put into your years. Be thankful for things money cannot buy. Remember “you only get to keep what you give away.” Be happy for “the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). These principles help you make life-long friends.

In making new friends, the Bible gives us many instances of the greatest friend known to man. His name is Jesus. The apostle Paul in Romans 8:38 and 39 states: “For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities nor powers, nor things present, nor thing to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

So make a new friend. You will be blessed. I say,
“Friends are like diamonds.
They sparkle in the rain.
Friends bring the sunshine into your life again.
Friends know all about you
And love you anyway.
They comfort and encourage
And brighten every day.
Wouldn’t it be lonely
If we had no friends to see?
No love and no fellowship?
How miserable we would be.
I’m so very thankful
For all my friends like you
To share the love of Jesus
And be your good friend too!”

Happy New Year dear reader. May you be happy, healthy and prosperous. May this year be the very best year of your life.

“The Lord bless thee, and keep thee. The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee. Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace” (Numbers 6:24-26).

Joan Clayton is a retired teacher, writer and religion columnist living in Portales. E-mail her at: