Friendship: Healing the Soul
There are few things in life that even come close to the value of a friend. Have you ever asked yourself what a real friend is worth to you? What kind of price tag could you attach if you had to sell one or buy one? I’m afraid the price would be so high that even the richest of rich could not afford one.
The really neat thing though, is that friends are not bought and sold. Those who try to buy them ultimately find out that the loyalty of the friend is commensurate with the flow of the funds or promises.
Real friends can heal your soul. In times of trouble we often think that what we need is a superior game plan. Or perhaps, we need some really dynamic advice. But, all the game plans and advice in the world can’t even compare with what a real friend can give. What is a game plan to the gentle touch of a friend? How does good advice compare with a warm hug from someone who loves you… even with all your flaws?
“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” (Proverbs 17:17)
Friendship is critical to faith development. Jesus centered His people on the concept of brotherly love. When you chase the term down you find that it means “a friend to your brother.” Having “brotherly love” for one another demands that we become friends with each other.
Real friendship will stand the test of time. In the beginning a friend is made with limited knowledge. As the years wear on, we learn more and more about one another and the friendship deepens. As it deepens, it turns into a different kind of love. It becomes a serving, honoring love.
Acquaintances or companions, on the other hand, are different. The casual relationships we often build are built on the moment. When you first meet, you become acquaintances, which we sometimes call friendship. These relationships are superficial and are regulated by the moment. If this person continues to preform in the manner you expect, it will most likely grow a little deeper.
Friendship, on the other hand, is different. Friendship is not based on the flawlessness of the other. A true friend will accept you, even with your flaws. They will love you when all others seem to turn away. You may well aggravate them to tears, but they will not give up on you. “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”(Proverbs 18:24)
Real friends stick together. They stick together through thick and through thin. Neither prosperity nor poverty will not separate true friendship. Friends are inseparable.
There is something else about friendship that is an awesome factor. Once you make a friend, they become very low maintenance. Companions and acquaintances demand huge amounts of time and attention. Friends do not. As long as they know you are there, it is enough. You can move away and the friendship continues. You can have other friends and they are thankful, not jealous. Acquaintances, however, want all your attention and will forsake you at the first sight of someone else moving in on their territory.
God wants us to become true friends. Go through the Scripture and find how many times Jesus addressed His group as friends. Listen to the apostles and see how it affected their lives? Note how often they refer to their relationship with the brethren as friends.
God has blessed me with a world of friends. I have relationships that some on the outside would kill for. I’m probably the most undeserving of all to have so many true friends, but I have them anyway.
How do you get friends like this, you ask? The answer is simple, but the price is high. If you want true friends, you must first become a true friend. When you become this kind of friend, God will entrust you with some of your own.