Freshman First 40 — Day 12

Day 12
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 31, 2011

Prov 3:13; 14:10; 17:9; 18:24; 22:11; 27:10 and Rom 12:8-15

Welcome to the next chapter of your life and life at Belmont. You will be
writing your own story and the story of Belmont in your time here. Most
people you talk with who attended college, especially at a distance from
where they grew up, will tell you they made lifelong friends. So look around
you and imagine who in the groups of people you’re meeting each day will
be the people you know when you need someone to talk to in the next few
years and in decades to come.

Probably somewhere along the way you’ve been given advice to be careful
who your friends are. And whether you paid attention to that advice or not,
you’ve probably also experienced how the company you keep can get you
in trouble or see you through in ways you wouldn’t have discovered on
your own. People need people, and sometimes we can act on those needs
and everyone comes out ahead. I think that’s what the writer of Romans is
talking about- friendship and community that enable everyone to rise to
their potential, and together, honor God. Sometimes we need to befriend
ourselves and find wisdom within. And sometimes we need to stretch
ourselves to extend hospitality and friendship to others who desperately
need it. What if you were encouraging, generous, diligent in taking initiative
to lead and to follow, merciful to yourself and others when difficulties arise,
sincere in your friendship, devoted to others, welcoming and able to share
joy and troubles with those around you?

For starters, there’d be people lining up wanting to be your friend. And in
addition, you’d be part of a community of people who are making the world
a more peaceful place simply by living their lives in this community.

So where does the wisdom come in? Well, it comes in knowing yourself
and in getting to know others as true people. Lots of ideas, people, events
and voices will be calling for your attention. Wisdom allows us to hear the
trueness through all the noise, to see the needs around us and within us
and respond with the mercy and diligence described above. So jump in,
make some friends, observe your self and others in new situations and old
patterns. And build for yourself and others a community of love, mercy, truth and honesty. It will last a lifetime.

DR. JUDY SKEEN
School of Religion

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