“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” (Proverbs 17:17, ESV)
My mom, with homespun wisdom, would prod her shy daughter (me) to get out there and mix with others. This lady who never saw a stranger in her life would quote loosely from Proverbs 18:24 and tell me, “If you want friends, you need to show yourself friendly.” Solomon may have written that statement thousands of years ago, but there is still wisdom in the message.
As four of us sat around the table talking one evening, our conversation drifted to the subject of friends past and present. We admitted that despite time and distance some remain lifelong friends. We may see each other for months or even years, but once together again we pick up where we left off. We are still as close as ever. Hellen Keller was correct when she said, “True friends are never apart, maybe in distance but never in heart.”
Some friendships do not bear the test of time. We gradually drift apart, not from disagreement but from apathy. In such relationships, one person may invest more time and effort than the other does. If that person suggests dinner or a fun activity, the other is agreeable and enjoys the time spent together. The second person, however, seldom—if ever—initiates contact. The responsibility to set any plans in motion falls on the other person. Such relationships are not balanced. Eventually, the initiator ceases to call and the two drift apart. One person alone cannot maintain a real friendship. Interaction must be both ways.
I love this quote by Eleanor Roosevelt.
“Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.”
If we were to each list qualities we think make a good friend, our lists would share some common traits and probably several differences. Things such as respect, dependability, acceptance, unconditional love, tolerance for our faults, and similar interests would be on most lists. Others might list generosity, a sense of humor, intelligence, or always ready for a good time.
That evening as we shared our thoughts on true friendship, I began to evaluate how I treat the One I consider my best friend. I must admit that I sometimes fail to initiate contact, waiting for Him to remind me, “It’s been a while. Let’s get together.” When my schedule is hectic, I may not respond as quickly as I should. However, I do value all His wonderful traits—honest, trustworthy, loving, forgiving, kind, and caring. In fact, He has done more for me than anyone else ever has. He willingly gave His life for me, the ultimate sacrifice of friendship. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends . . .” (John 15:13-14).
With such a wonderful friend as Jesus Christ, I wonder why I don’t spend more time with Him. He cannot maintain the friendship alone. I must do my part as well.
Lord, I love You and thank You for the relationship we share. You showed Your love to me by giving Your life at Calvary so that I might have eternal life. How can I ever thank You enough for being my most faithful friend?
This is so beautiful! Thank you!