According to the Standard Encyclopedia of Philosophy, friendship is a distinctively personal relationship that is grounded in a concern on the part of each friend for the welfare of the other and for the other’s sake. There is a strong degree of closeness between the two individuals. Within a friendship, there are good times and not-so-good times. However, if the friendship is real, there is nothing and no one who can break it. Proverbs 17:17 (ESV) affirms, “A friend loves at all times... In other words, a real friend doesn’t shift back and forth on you because of varying situations that may evolve. A friend is not one who only comes around in “fair weather.” Therefore, real friendship is priceless, no matter “the weather.”
Friends sometimes fall out with one another or separate because of differing opinions in religion, politics, lifestyles, acceptance of new friends, and the list grows. Real friendship is not to be taken lightly or for granted. If you are a friend today, then you are a friend tomorrow, in spite of any differences. “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13 ESV). If someone whom you thought was a friend just “disappears into thin air,” treats you as if you don’t exist, or acts as if he/she doesn’t know you around certain people, then you must realize that person was never your friend. There is a difference between someone’s knowing you for convenience sake, rather than as a real friend. Someone whose friendship is not real will manifest itself sooner or later. Even though it may hurt you once revealed, be thankful that you found out because it could be more devastating later on down the road. Further, if you want others to be a real friend to you, be sure that you show yourself as a real friend.
Before bringing this message to a close, let me share this thought-provoking illustration, “The Friend Inside.” “Throughout his administration, Abraham Lincoln was a president under fire, especially during the scarring years of the Civil War. Though he knew he would make errors in office, he resolved never to compromise his integrity. So strong was this resolve that he once said, ‘I desire so to conduct the affairs of this administration that if at the end, when I come to lay down the reins of power, I have lost every other friend on earth, I shall at least have one friend left, and that friend shall be down inside of me’” (Ministry 127).
Always abound in the faith, and never leave home without Him!
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