R U OK 2017

The time has rolled around again for R U OK day, where Australia is encouraged to:

- Ask
- Listen
- Encourage Action
- Check In

It’s a great initiative which brings mental health awareness back into our minds. Last year, I said that if you’re willing to ask the question of a loved one, we need to be willing to hear the response, and commit to walking through what may well be a very long journey.

I love these four action points of R U OK day, because they remind us that while the conversation begins with a question, it isn’t where we end. No - when we ask, we also listen, respond and follow up.

The book of Proverbs contains so much wisdom, and particularly around the topic of friendship.

Consider the following verse in relation to the premise behind R U OK day:

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.
— Proverbs 17:17

In a fallen world, we must expect relationships, and life itself, to have difficult times. There are moments of beauty in life, but also seasons of hardship. Proverbs concludes that true friendship and brotherhood is present all the time, not some of it.

Let’s consider what it means to be this kind of friend as we reflect on the message of R U OK day, and how asking, listening, encouraging action and checking in are all part of what it means to fulfil biblical friendship.

The gospel is a message of unconditional love - it is not a fair weathered reality but one where God's love is there in the sunshine and in the rain.

May our relationships with others be the same.

Chris Cipollone