Friends come in all sizes, shapes, and personalities. I have many of them, for which I am thankful. Here’s one dictionary definition: “A friend is your buddy, your pal, your amigo, your comrade. Someone you trust and like enough to hang out with on a regular basis.” I would also add that a friend is one who supports you through good and bad times, and is always concerned for your best interest.
Do you have such people in your life? I don’t think we need a lot of close friends, but we need someone who fits this definition. It’s easier for some to make friends than others. But the Bible gives us some good advice on the subject. Proverbs 18:24 says, ”A man who has friends must himself be friendly,” Sometimes that means going outside of our comfort zone, and there’s work involved. Sometimes friendships just happen naturally. We just “click” with someone.
Some friendships are temporary. Some last a lifetime. Unfortunately, most of my long term friends live far away from me. They have been established over time, through years of traveling and living in different places. I often wish these friends were nearer geographically, but at least we have easy access through the phone, the internet, and travel.
“A friend loves at all times,” says Proverbs 17:17. No one is perfect. We all fail each other at times, but love keeps loving through the good and the bad. Do you know the kind of love described in I Corinthians 13, which “never fails?” The only way to know that kind of love is to be centered in the love of God, the One who never fails.
One of the most amazing statements of Jesus is found in His last teachings to His followers. He said to them, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you” (John 15:13-15 ESV).
Isn’t that incredible? That the Creator of the universe, the Savior of our souls, wants to be friends with us? Is it too much to ask that we follow His commands, when the results are so astounding? Are you in His circle of friends? Doesn’t that encourage you today? Have you thanked Him for a friendship that outweighs any other friendship on earth?