North Santa Rosa

Living with Purpose by Matt Dobson

It’s long been thought healthy relationships were good for you. In fact, several studies and research indicate long-term positive relationships help with longevity. You live longer! The cause of this might have something to do with God, don’t you think? For God says, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor; if either of them falls down, one can help the other up…though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken”       (Ecc. 4:9-12).

It disturbs me to see people take their own lives because in their mind there is nothing more for them to contribute to their families and society. Recently, during a span of three weeks, four New York City police officers took their own life; one of them leaving a wife and three kids. People spoke well of him, called him “an all-around great guy.” Still another shot himself after arguing with his wife. He had twin 5 year old daughters. There’s no question; life is hard. But something has been left out of life when one thinks their existence is worthless. Everyone has something to offer. The discovery of this something requires you to search for it. Those that can’t seem to find it or feel like life has nothing for them and they have nothing to give—must do one simple thing: “But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matt. 6:33)…this includes friendships and kindred spirits.

Perfecting your capacities for friendliness with others is vitally important to successful and positive living. Not just for you, but for others too. All of us need to be a friend and make ourselves friendly toward others. You never know who may be in need of your listening ear or your friendship. Perhaps your existence will be the key that helps someone re-evaluate their strengths and recognize that life is worth living. Worth living because there is One who cares and One who has created us for many things.

Having a deep spiritual experience and adding prayer and Bible reading to your daily routine helps you experience the “abundant life” Jesus came to give us: “I have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). This kind of life helps you become stronger and better able to meet life more effectively. It helps you to be at your best. Being at your God-given best makes you a prime candidate for being a friend. Whoever you can build up and help become a better, purpose-driven person will give you devotion and loyalty in return. Try building the ego of others. Elevate self-respect in someone by complimenting them. Help a person discover their personal worth and build up as many people as you can. Do it unselfishly because you like them and because you see the potential of their life. If you do these things, you will never lack for friends.

Friendship is one of the few things in the world everyone can make. You may not have a lot of money in the bank. Maybe you have to count every penny. Yet, you can be gloriously rich in friends. Your home, regardless of its size can be a palace of friendship. Someone once said the rules for making friends are very simple and can be put into four words: 1) Forget yourself, 2) Remember others. If the Spirit of God is in you, you’ll know you are neither higher nor lower than anyone else—that all believers fall in the category of God’s children. When you get to the point in life where you can forget about yourself and value the needs of your friends, you will find joy that was meant for you to have. For the Bible says, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friend” (John 15:13 NLT).

The art of making friends begins with a simple, but effective non-verbal technique. It’s called a “smile”. Try smiling at others when you meet in the isles of the grocery store. Smile at someone while walking in the mall. Smile at the guy behind the counter, or the girl across the table. Smile at your fellow members in church. And certainly, find time to smile at yourself. A smile is the best “icebreaker” and “friend maker” known to man.

There’s an old hymn many church congregations still sing and it goes like this: “What a friend we have in Jesus, All our sins and grief’s to bear! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer! Oh, what peace we often forfeit, oh what needless pain we bear, All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer!”

Are you being a true friend to someone just now? On a scale of 1-10, how friendly are you? Most of all, is Jesus your friend? Is he your Savior? “There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Prov. 18:24) —his name is Jesus. Ask Jesus to come into your life. Let him make you into a new person! Live your life with purpose. Find the true joy of friendship and be the kind of friend you would like to have. The church is a good place to start. So, find one, attend faithfully, and follow God in all your ways.

  • This weekly column is written by Matthew Dobson. A graduate of Florida State University, University of West Florida, and Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, he is Pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in Jay, Florida. Matthew can be reached by email: He welcomes your thoughts and questions concerning faith, belief, and Christian living. Visit the Living With Purpose website at
Posted by on Apr 22 2012. Filed under Living With Purpose, Local, Top News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

1 Comment for “Living with Purpose by Matt Dobson”

  1. North Santa Rosa

    Thanks for the reminder Matt, the world is a much better place with a smile. I remember the words to an old “Brownie” tune: I have something in my pocket, it belongs across my face, I take it out and put it on, its a great big Brownie smile.
    I am grateful to God that He enables me to see Blessings each and every day.

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