2002-03-17 - Passages about Friendship
Jesus put a high value on friendship. The gospels refer to John fondly as "the one Jesus loved," and one of the last things Jesus did before He was crucified was to visit his friends, Mary and Martha, to comfort them (over the loss of their brother Lazarus, who was soon to be back with them). If you have one or more close friends, consider yourself truly blessed and thank God for them. If you don't, ask God to send someone(s) like that into your life, and focus on being a good friend to those around you.
God loves us through our friends, sometimes giving us a taste of His unconditional love for us:
(Prov 17:17 NRSV) A friend loves at all times, and kinsfolk are born to share adversity.
He strengthens us through our friends:
(Eccl 4:9-12 NRSV) Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up the other; but woe to one who is alone and falls and does not have another to help. Again, if two lie together, they keep warm; but how can one keep warm alone? And though one might prevail against another, two will withstand one. A threefold cord is not quickly broken.
True friends are always there -- for the highest highs and the lowest lows -- and feel each other's pains and joys:
(Rom 12:15 NRSV) Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
Real friends are honest, even when it's difficult:
(Prov 27:6 NRSV) Well-meant are the wounds a friend inflicts, but profuse are the kisses of an enemy.
If you desire lasting friendships, be a true friend to those you have:
(Prov 18:24 KJV) A man that hath friends must show himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.