Two are better than one,

because they have a good return for their labor:

If either of them falls down,

one can lift the other up. – Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

 Pictured above is my youngest daughter and one of her best friends. If you ask either of them they will tell you they’ve been friends forever…since they were born. Hehehehehe I have a picture of bringing my youngest to the hospital when she was six months old to visit her soon to be best friend when she was born! Aren’t they the sweetest?

Friendships come and go over the course of our lives. The relationships that we have with long time friends even ebbs and flows. It’s never constant and always changing. It is the very relationships that we have with friends that is so very important. God wants us to remember that two are better than one. That a cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

We are talking about kindness this week. Kindness can come in the things we do and the things we say for sure. But have you thought about the relationships with your friends?   Those relationships could be the epitome of kindness? It is where both words are spoken and actions are seen and felt.

This fall I had the pleasure of driving those two sweet friends in the car. My daughter had just made the seventh grade basketball team as a sixth grader. Her friend had found out and was genuinely so happy and proud of my daughter. The exchange went something like this:

Friend: I heard you made the seventh grade basketball team! Congratulations!

My daughter: Yeah – thank you.

 Friend: Are you excited? You are such a good basketball player you will do great.

 My daughter: If you would’ve tried out I’m sure you would’ve made the team too.

 Friend: Thanks but I’m not as good as you are.

 This friend had found out about something special in my daughter’s life and found a way to bring it up in conversation. I talked with the friend’s mom later and she had not prompted her daughter to say anything to mine.   Even in a proud moment, this sweet young lady had found a way to build my daughter up and show her; as a peer, that she was loved. She wasn’t jealous or bitter. She was a true friend loving on my daughter at that very moment.

It was the sweetest and most innocent conversation amongst friends that I was thrilled to have been privy too. I know deep down that even if my daughter falls (as she for sure will) she has a good friend that will help pick her up again….the best kindness there is to offer another person.

Let’s remember the things that really matter in this life – our relationships. There are so many meaningless options that try to grab for our attention. Take the words of chapter four of Ecclesiastes to heart and stop with the meaningless and nurture the things that matter instead.

Think about all the people in your life. Are there a few people that stand out as close friends? How have you been nurturing that friendship lately? Do those people know without a doubt that you will be there to pick them up if they fall? If the answer is no or you don’t know – think about some ways you can build them up and care for them this week!

 STUDY – Ecclesiastes 4 – NIV

 1Again I looked and saw all the oppression that was taking place under the sun:

 I saw the tears of the oppressed –

and they have no comforter;

power was on the side of their oppressors –

and they have no comforter.

2And I declared that the dead,

who had already died,

are happier than the living,

who are still alive.

3But better than both

is the one who has never been born,

who has not seen the evil

that is done under the sun.

 4And I saw that all toil and all achievement spring from one person’s envy of another. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

 5Fools fold their hands

and ruin themselves.

6Better one handful with tranquility

than two handfuls with toil

and chasing after the wind.

 7Again I saw something meaningless under the sun:

 8There was a man all alone;

he had neither son nor brother.

There was no end to his toil,

yet his eyes were not content with his wealth.

“For whom am I toiling,” he asked,

“and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?”

This too is meaningless –

a miserable business!

 9Two are better than one,

because they have a good return for their labor:

10If either of them falls down,

one can help the other up.

But pity anyone who falls

and has no one to help them up.

11Also, if two lie down together, they will kep warm.

But how can one keep warm alone?

12Though one may be overpowered,

two can defend themselves.

A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

 13Better a poor but wise youth than an old but foolish king who no longer knows how to heed a warning. 14The youth may have come from prison to the kingship, or he may have been born in poverty within his kingdom. 15I saw that all who lived and walked under the sun followed the youth, the king’s successor. 16There was no end to all the people who were before them. But those who came later were not pleased with the successor. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

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