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English to Arabic: Sermon by His Grace Bishop Youssef in U.S.A about Friendship
Source text - English https://soundcloud.com/his-grace-bishop-youssef/17-friendship-arabic-al-horreya-tv?in=his-grace-bishop-youssef/sets/youth-immigration-arabic-al-horreya
Translation - Arabic In the Name of the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit one God Amin
Q&A with His Grace Bishop Youssef
Interviewed by Al Horreya TV Channel
Welcome to our friends the youth from everywhere who are watching our youth counseling program in a new episode, today we will talk about friendship which is one of the most important topics in our lives. Before we talk about friendship, let us all welcome our guest His Grace Bishop Youssef the General Bishop of the Sothern United States of America, his Grace has a Doctorate Degree in Family Counseling.
Interviewer: Welcome to your Grace
HGB Youssef: Welcome to everyone
Interviewer: Today we will talk about friendship which is something very important in our lives, we would like to start this episode with a question, is friendship Grace or Disgrace in our lives? Before we discuss this topic with your Grace, please allow us to listen to some different opinions from different people in the following report.
Q. Is friendship grace or disgrace?
The following are different opinions from different people:
Of course friendship is grace and it makes big difference to have many friends instead of feeling lonely.
Friendship can be grace or disgrace, one friend can leads his friend to a bad situation and other friend provides encouragement, support, develop and move his friend forward in life and help him get closer to God.
Friendship is grace and I have missed it so much since I moved here because I didn’t have no friends when I arrived here in this country, but when I started to attend church that’s when I made new friends.
Friendship can be grace or disgrace, it can be grace when someone don’t abuse his friendship, and become disgrace when some people only seek friendship for the sake of benefit and when they get what they want then they look for someone else to benefit from.
It depends on who you have a friendship with, a friend will take you to church and another friend may take you to clubs, gambling in Atlantic City and drinking. You have to choose your friends carefully and ask yourself, were they coming from, what kind of environments they grow up in and how they raised.
Of course friendship is good to have but in only one condition, its good when you choose the right friend and the right match, friends must build one another up not the other way around.
Friendship is grace, it would be a psychological issue if someone doesn’t have friends but we still have to select and choose the right friends.
It’s very important to choose the right friends in this country, a friend will affects you whether positively or negatively and in different ways, a friend will take you to church and a friend will take you to somewhere else.
We have to choose no more than one or two friends because as the Holy Bible said the evil company corrupts good habits, we must choose the friends who suits us and attracts us to church.
Friendship is very good and unique and it makes big different to immigrants or to the newcomers when they start relationships from the church environment without benefiting from one other.
Friendships could works both ways, it could be grace or disgrace on someone.
Now we are back to the studio with His Grace Bishop Youssef.
Interviewer: Most people expressed their opinions that friendships may be grace or disgrace and some others said, something wrong with people who doesn’t have friends, what’s your Grace opinion about that?
HGB Youssef: there is no question that friendships are grace because God created the souls of human being to grow through relationships with others. When they made an experiment and brought young babies and gave them all their needs and separated them from one another and isolated them from others and no one held them or hugged them, after a while they found some of them died even when they provided them with all their needs.
Relationship is not the problem, actually friendships and relationships are grace from God, but sometimes the friend is the problem and it can be disgrace when someone choose the wrong friend. Friends like the button of elevator, a friend may take you up or take you dawn. As they saying in the monkhood, while two monks walking together from their cells to church, one monk can bring the other in spiritual life to 50 years ahead or 50 years behind. That’s why it’s very important to choose friends especially our souls are developing through relationships with others, healthy souls are related to our relationships with others.
Interviewer: Would your Grace tell us how someone choose the right friends?
HGB Youssef: As someone mentioned in this report, friendship must be free from benefit. The Holy Bible gave us a good example about how faithful the relationship between David the Prophet and Johnathan, and when we look at the story we see the faithfulness of the friendship and how it was free from benefit, because it was in Johnathan’s own worldly benefit to kill David because David was promised to become the King after Saul and that’s why Saul was fighting to kill David, Saul became angry on his son Johnathan and he cursed him and told him don’t you know that David came to your own shame and he will take the kingdom from you. But Jonathan was faithful in his relationship with David, Johnathan stood against his father when he knew that his father was wrong and he asked his father, what did David done to you? Jonathan helped David to escape from his father Saul the king, many times Johnathan talked positively and defended David. This story taught us friendship must be free from benefit, to love and develop one another and find the fear of God in oneself and your friend should take you forward and help you build a relationship with God. We must be very careful when we select our friends because if you choose the wrong friend and wrong relationship then it will cause you problems and that’s when relationships become disgrace.
Interviewer: If I trust a friend so much, can I tell him some secrets from my privet life or not?
HGB Youssef: In matter of fact, you should have wisdom when you choose what to share with your friend, you have to have your own privet secrets in your life which are not sharable with others. Actually, I see it very dangerous when someone uncover everything in his life to others. We all human and sometimes we become different and weak, when you reveal everything in your life to a friend, you will never know if that friend at one time may use your secrets against you and it happened all the time, that’s why we must be wise with what can we share or not to share, its dangerous to share everything with a friend. Even our Master Jesus Christ told others when He dealt with them, He told them be careful of others and Jesus said in John 2nd (2:24) He didn’t commit Himself to them, because He knew all men Jesus also said to Peter in John (13:7) What I am doing you will not understand now, but you will know after this. Our Master Jesus didn’t revealed everything to them, but He revealed some other things like the end of the world and when the Kingdom will be returned back to Israel, Jesus told them also in Act (1:7) it’s not for you to know time and seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. In my opinion its unwise form someone to reveal his privet secrets to others, we must be wise with what to share or not to share with friends.
Interviewer: Your Grace, if we talk about some of the problems of the newcomers especially the youth come to this country, some of them said, we miss friends when we come here, and they find themselves without friends and it’s important to have friends. Newcomers from Egypt also find the local people here taking a side from them because they live here and grew up here and they stick to themselves and it’s hard for the newcomers to find friends. So, how someone make and select new friends wisely?
HGB Youssef: It’s all about initiation, someone cant sitting and waiting for people to come to him and start relationship with him, especially with shy people, that person must get out of this bubble and start getting to know and introduce himself to people, that’s how to break the ice and break the first barrier and get to know new people. My personal advice to the new comers from Egypt, they should participate in conventions and retreats and start making new relations with others and that’s how they build a network of new relationships. When the newcomers start building a network of people, that’s when the newcomer will starts to find and select the right friendship and the right relationship to depend on. There are many positive things from healthy friendships, people can benefit from healthy relationships and help them grow in their lives.
Interviewer: Now I came and made many friends then I realized some of my new friends are suitable and some others are unsuitable for myself. How can I stay away from unsuitable relationship without they become enemy?
HGB Youssef: Why should I take someone as my enemy, you can take that person like someone you know and deal with him in a limited way without making him your enemy. I may have 100 friends but not all of them are my best friends or close friends. I may have 3 close or best friends and keep the rest of 100 as just regular friends or consider them as people you know and keep the relationship with them in limits. Also the spiritual friendship is very important in our lives, for example Maximums and Dumdums were brothers and very strong friends, and also the friendship in marriage between wife and husband is very important, it helps to keep marriage healthy. Friendship has many benefits and spiritual friendship is feeding these benefits. Example: it’s when friends have a weekly spiritual meeting together, pray together and meditate together and that’s how they benefit and benefit others.
Interviewer: How about our friendships with the Saints, for example the friendship of Pope Kyrelos with St. Mina the martyr, how we build a relationship with our intercessors?
HGB Youssef: You have just mentioned a great subject because the Saints are a live, God said in Mathew (22:32) I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not for the dead, but of the living. Actually, we can make a friendship with Saints, someone build a friendship with St. Mary and someone else have a relationship with St. Mina and some other have a relationship with St. George and their intercessions are very strong, how someone start a relationship with the Saints? When someone start to read about one Saint and know his story and get attached to that Saint, then start to ask the Saint for his intercession and prayers and it does bring results when someone build a strong relationship with saints.
Another kind of friendships is our friendship with the poor, Saint Anba Abraam the Bishop of El Fayom was well known as a good friend to the poor, he was taking care of them and taking care of their needs, he use to eat with them and sit with them as a friend and show them love. Jesus also said in Luke (16:9) And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail they may receive you into an everlasting home. Unrighteous mammon, is for not treating anyone unfairly, our earth became corrupted from Adam’s sin and God cursed earth and everything in it because of Adam’s sin. If we compare what we have in our hands on earth to the blessings that are in heaven then we will realize all what we have in our hands on earth is unrighteous mammon. That’s why God said make friends for yourselves with unrighteous mammon, that’s when Saint Anba Abraam from Al Fayoom did, he made many friends from the poor and they will be a great witnesses for him in heaven. John (17:12) those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost.
Interviewer: There is very important friendship that we must always keep in our lives, the relationship with God. How can we keep God as a Friend, not only when we have problems but at all time and keep strong relationship with Him?
HGB Youssef: When we talk to God, we pray to Him in few different ways, there is a prayer for requests that’s when I pray to God to help me in something, there is a form of prayers when you pray to God and talk to Him as a Father or Friend. The Prophet David was talking to God as he was talking to a Friend, he talked to God when he was happy and when he was sad. Another different form of prayers when I pray for someone or pray with a friend on behalf of others, another form of prayers when thank Him and praise Him. Between thanksgiving, praises, requests and intercessions, that’s how I build a relationship with God, the Holy Bible said about Him, He is the Friend and that’s who our God Jesus Christ is.
Interviewer: I think your Grace if we deal with God the same way we deal with our friends, our relationship with God will be the best relationship in our lives.
HGB Youssef: No doubt, our relationship with God is very fulfilling to us, God fulfill all our needs including the needs of our souls, our spirits, our bodies, emotions and our social lives, God fulfill all our needs in all areas.
Interviewer: Amen to your Grace, May God give us the ability to consider Him as a Friend and may God fulfill all our needs. Unfortunately, we ran out of time for this episode but we haven’t finished all our topics yet, God willing we will continue with your Grace in the next episode. We thank your Grace so much, we had the blessing of your present.
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