“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.
- Develop a priority friendship with Jesus.
- Don’t give out nor take in gossip.
- Don’t lay on a friend all your problems (unless that friend is God).
- Be real. Throw away all your masks.
- 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).
- Accept the fact that true friendships are not unlike marriage. There will be conflicts that help nurture a blending of wills.
- Care enough about friends that you recoil from ever doing them harm.
- Know that true friendship always carries a cost in time, energy and the humility to apologize quickly when wrong.
- 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.