“A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” Proverbs 17:17.
Sympathy is good, wisely give, but it must be judiciously imparted, with a knolwledge that the subject is deserving sympathy. What shall be said of receiving advice and counsel? Proverbs 25:9-12. “Debate thy cause with thy neighbor; and discover not a secret to another: lest he that heareth it put thee to shame. . . .A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. As a an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, so it is a wise reprover upon an obedient ear.” When we can associate together to help one another heavenward, when the conversation is upon divine and heavenly things, then it amounts to something to talk; but when the conversation centers upon self and upon earthly and unimportant matters, SILENCE IS GOLDEN. The obedient ear will receive reproof with humility, patience, and teachableness. Then only do our communications with each other prove beneficial, and fulfill all that God would have them. When both sides of the divine instruction are fulfilled, the wise reprover does his duty, and the obedient ear hears to a purpose and is benefitted.
“Every association we form, however limited, exerts some influence upon us. The extent to which we yield to that influence will be determined by the degree of intimacy, and constancy of the intercourse, and our love and veneration of the one with whom we associate.
“Your good will, your unselfish acts, will not be to a favored few, but to all with whom you associate. Thus you will form friends and attachments that are dear and lasting; your own deeds will be reflected back on yourself.
“Through the social relations, Christianity comes in contact with the world. Every one who has received the divine illumination is to brighten the pahtway of those who know not the Light of Life.”
Sons and Daugthers of God, by Ellen White, p. 166.
Deuteronomy 32:31 “For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges.”