I love this quote from CS Lewis. It sums up the benefit of friendship so well. I’m so thankful for my friends and the value they bring to my life.
The blessing of a friend is not by coincidence. Actually, friendship holds great value for God. He provides us with many scriptures to guide and direct us in choosing appropriate friends. He gives us many examples of friendships throughout the bible. His Word reveals the importance friends have in our lives.
The real meaning of a friend
While I can count on one hand my close friends, that certainly doesn’t make me feel lacking or incomplete in the friend department. On the contrary, when it comes to friends, I am blessed beyond measure. I can certainly say quality over quantity rings true when it comes to my friends.
My friends play an important role in my life. They are someone I laugh with, cry with, and pray with. They provide support when I need it, lift me up when I fall, and rejoice with me during my good times. My friends appreciate and encourage me. My friends help make my life better.
“A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity.” Proverbs 17:17
“Ointment and perfume delight the heart, And the sweetness of a man’s friend gives delight by hearty counsel.” Proverbs 27:9
The role friends should have in our lives
Friends have a very important role in our lives. As I’ve gotten older, I certainly have a different understanding of friends. I’ve learned the importance of having friends that strengthen my spiritual life and help me to stay focused on God. When I was younger, I didn’t understand the importance of surrounding myself with friends that would help me draw me closer to God. I didn’t always pursue friendships that were spiritually or mentally healthy for me. Thanks to the Lord, He saw fit to help me to move past that time of immaturity and rebelliousness. As I’ve gotten older and more mature, I understand that importance of choosing spiritually minded friends. I’m thankful for my friends because they have their sights set on eternity with God. Having this common interest means everything to me, because I know my friends will help me stay focused on my goal of a heavenly home.
“Two are better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, For he has no one to help him up. Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; But how can one be warm alone? Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
“As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” Proverbs 27:17
Being a real friend
True friendship happens between two friends. A successful and beneficial friendship is a give and take from both parties, so that means you need to ensure that you are being a real friend to others. I’ve always believed that to have a friend you must also be a friend. This is something that I really try to take to heart. In the past, I can admit that I may not have always been the best friend I could be. I’ve tried to learn from my mistakes and be a better friend now. Other times, I can say I’ve experienced relationships where I would say, I was the better friend. Since the relationship was extremely one sided, I don’t look back on it as a true friendship. But I do appreciate those relationships because they served a purpose and taught me a lot. One thing they taught me was to appreciate and recognize a true friend. (Side note, if you find yourself in a one sided relationship and not being blessed by the so called friend, then prayerfully consider distancing yourself from that person – be mindful of the need to love and be a friend to yourself. Another post for another day, but loving yourself is key to being a good friend, so certainly take care of yourself rather than remain in a relationship that only depletes you.)
“And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.” Luke 6:31
“Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.” Colossians 3:12-14
“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2
“Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11
My Final Thoughts
As I’ve grown up and matured a bit, instead of pursuing friendships, I strive to connect with people that encourage and edify me, love and accept me, and help me stay focused on God. I’ve learned the important lesson of waiting on God to send me the friends I need in my life as well as trusting in His time and duration for the friendship. I don’t force a friendship or remain in a friendship that negatively impacts my life. I’ve learned to accept and understand that friends are not a prerequisite to happiness. I know and trust that God will provide me with a friend as He sees fit.
If you are fortunate to have a real friend – treasure that relationship, nurture it, and pray for it. If you find you are in a position that you long for a close companion, then ask God. Pray for God to prepare your heart for the friend, to guide you in how to be a good friend, and to bring into your life the friend that will you make you the person God wants you to be.
Thanks for reading. Lots of love and blessings to you and yours.