“An unfriendly person pursues selfish ends and against all sound judgment starts quarrels.” – Proverbs 18:1

“And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.” – Luke 6:31

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. – John 15:12-13

“Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. When Moses turned again into the camp, his assistant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent.”  – Exodus 33:11

Overview

These verses tell us that we need to think about how we want other people to treat us and apply that to our own behavior.  If your focus is on how you treat your friends, you will benefit over time.  When you do a favor for a friend for the purpose of a future benefit, your motive will eventually become apparent.  Understand that friends are extremely valuable and you must consider that whenever you have the opportunity to support them.

My Experience

Running Marathon to train for football

When I played on the high school football team I was friends with the other players.  I worked hard because I needed the scholarship to attend college.  In order to become a starter on the team, I need to look better than the other players.  I made sure everyone knew when I did something good and I also made it clear when another player played poorly.

My father was transferred from Northern California to Los Angeles after my junior year.  I only had one year left and the interest from Berkley and Stanford was over.  I knew the competition in Los Angeles was much greater than small town.  I decided not to play my senior year.  I had a dream one night that scared me so much that I could not sleep the rest of the night.  The message I received from the dream was “Play for the Team”.  The next morning, the coach called me to his office.  He said that my coach from Northern California called him and said I should play on the team. 

I was shocked.  I said I missed practice during the summer, games start in three weeks, and the competition is so much stronger than the small team I played previously.  The coach said the team needed help on defense and my coach said I could help.  I started football practice that day.  That night I had the dream again.  Now I understood.  Do not do things to make myself look good.  Do things that help the team.  Help the other players, my friends.

It took a while, but by the end of the season, I earned my college scholarship and made so many friends on the team.  I applied the concept of “playing for the team” to everything I did for the rest of my life.  I was a pilot in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War, I was an executive at the fifth-largest bank in the US, I won the democratic nomination for Congress, and I started and managed a successful business.  That message, “Play for the Team”, applied to every experience in my professional or personal life.  If you forget about looking good and try to help others, everyone will benefit. 

Summary

The verses tell us that obtaining credit for our good deeds should not be our purpose, if we help the entire group, and our friends specifically, we will all benefit.  We will benefit without seeking the rewards directly and create valuable friendships for our efforts.

Published by Jim Brandt

Jim Brandt was an all-conference college football player and served as a Marine Corps pilot during the Vietnam War. He also started a software company and served as an executive for the fifth-largest bank in the United States. Brandt won the Democratic party nomination for Congress twice. He is married and has three children.