“A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24

Here is the Father’s loving answer to any of us who wish we had more or better friends. 1) You don’t wait to take a friend; you work to make a friend.

2) Having “a friend that sticketh closer than a brother” can be viewed a couple of ways: a) a trustworthy and loyal friend in the Lord can be more faithful than a loved one in the flesh, and b) the one friendship that will never fail you is that offered by God Himself.

There are examples of incredible friendships in the Scripture: God and Abraham; Naomi and Ruth; Jonathan and David; Elijah and Elisha; Jesus and the disciples; Paul and Timothy, etc. These were what true friendships should be—relationships that brought a godly influence. Let me offer my own simple recipe for being a lasting friend.

  1. Develop a priority friendship with Jesus.
  2. Don’t give out nor take in gossip.
  3. Don’t lay on a friend all your problems (unless that friend is God).
  4. Be real. Throw away all your masks.
  5. Remember that your love can risk being vulnerable to a true friend (because you are secure in the love of your best Friend, the Lord).
  6. Accept the fact that true friendships are not unlike marriage. There will be conflicts that help nurture a blending of wills.
  7. Care enough about friends that you recoil from ever doing them harm.
  8. Know that true friendship always carries a cost in time, energy and the humility to apologize quickly when wrong.
  9. When you know that your friend is heading down the wrong path, you must offer no-judgmental correction – but only to your friend’s face and never to his/her back.

My prayer: “You are my example, Lord Jesus, in how to make and keep a friend. It was You who first reached out to love and care for me. Help me to do the same with others.

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