Is friendship, when you are there only when you can? Does friendship mean you drop everything when a friend calls? Do you tell a friend the truth all the time? What about what Thumper says in the Disney classic, Bambi, “if you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all,” or what about what Tom Cruise says in a Few Good Men, “You can’t handle the truth.” Or is it somewhere in between?
I have had a number of friends come under attack these past few months. Some of them started the battle, most it came out of nowhere. The really painful ones have been husband vs wife, employee vs employer, parent vs child, friend vs friend.
Honestly for me the choice whether to support them or not has been an easy one. I know my upbringing in the Islands plays apart in this. I never saw people go through hardship alone, friends always came a running, friends brought food, stayed up all night, called and you were not alone.
What happens when sin comes in the mix? What about if your friend is not without blame? What if others ask how you can side with a sinner? Actually that’s an easy one Jesus preferred the honest sinner to the professional religious person. Jesus loves the fallen and the needy so that’s not hard. So what about if hanging out with your friend comes at a cost? What if it’s not easy, or not convenient?
Well what does the Bible say about being a friend?
“When Job’s three friends, Eliphaz , Bildad, and Zophar heard about all the troubles that had come upon him, they set out from their homes and met together by agreement to go and sympathize with him and comfort him.”
So we are to be there when our friends are hurting
“One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother”
Sometime the old adage blood is thicker than water is not true, in fact more often in my life it has been my best friends that have been there to stick by me.
“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity”
I think true friends may not always agree with you but they choose to be there in the trench with you.
The Lord Jesus Christ gave us the definition of a true friend: “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”
True friends are willing to stick their necks out for a friend no matter what the cost
Many will say they are loyal friends, but who can find one who is truly reliable?
Once again loyal friends show up when you need them too not when it’s convenient.
King David was a lover and a fighter but 4 of the best examples of friendship comes from him: David and Jonathan (1 Samuel 18:1-3, 20:17, King David and Abiathar (1 Samuel 22:23),David and Nahash (2 Samuel 10:2)and David and Hushai (2 Samuel 15:32–37)
David was loyal to the point of sacrifice and for me that’s the point. When something happens all your friends usually are there to start with but the true friends are still there 2 weeks, 2 months and 2 years later.
- Text and ask how you are doing
- Facebook message and check on you
- Drive over the bridge to check, get on a plane, stay up late to have a coffee
- It doesn’t have to cost money but it always costs emotionally and with time.
John 15:3 says a friend lays down his or her life and I think that means gives up their rights, their time, gives their heart. Jesus laid down his life for us and as in all things He did he modelled sacrifice.
We can’t ever go as far as he did but just like Jesus I want to hang out with the needy, the messy, the lonely, the hurting and my friends.
Matthew – Fit 4 Life Staff