Friendship is a devoted relation between two people in which both of them have true feelings of love, care and affection to each other without any hint of demands and misunderstanding. God’s intention of friendship is love. Friendship should be less about what we get out of it and more about how we can serve God through it. 1 Corinthians 13:13 reminds us that out of “faith, hope, and love… the greatest of these is love.” Jesus reiterated the importance of love when he reminded His followers to love God first with all their heart and soul (Matthew 22:37) and then love our neighbors as ourselves. (Matthew 22:39)
It is said, “Friends are the family we choose ourselves.” It is equally important to have friends as it is to have a family. A friend is a person who can pick you up when you fall. We might not realize how important a friend can be until we are in a difficult situation that even family members cannot help out.
We can buy gold and diamonds if we have the required amount of money in our pocket, but not a genuine friendship even if you have a lump sum of money. Buying a gold or any inanimate object gives us possession over it and remains in our custody as long as we desire. This yardstick, however, cannot be applied to a friend. (S)he is a living being who has her/his own faculties of mind and senses. We have to go deep into her/his mind and psyche to know that (s)he won’t desert us in times of adversity. Such a judgment may not always be quite easy.
“Friendship is a virtue or at least involves virtue. It is necessary to life since no one would choose to live without friends even if he had all other material goods. Friends are a refuge in times of poverty and misfortune; they help to guard the young against error; they help the old in their weakness, and help those in the prime of life to perform noble actions.” –Aristotle
Friendship is a two-way responsibility. You could be miles away from each other but the friendship still thrives. To achieve this, we should take into consideration the fact that communication and keeping in touch are very key in making sure that friendship does not fade away.
We cannot overlook the fact that sometimes we face challenges in our friendships which may be contributed by a number of factors that we will not cover for now. If not dealt with properly and actually earlier enough the friendship may end up breaking. Recovering once existed friendship is never easy.
However, true friendship should actually transcend all material gains and selfish motives and values. The value of true friendship is inestimable. It is a matter of the heart more than of the mind and must be left to the heart for the decision rather than subjecting it to the scanner of the mind which can sometimes play the truant and spoil the whole game. True friendship needs proper understanding, satisfaction, helping nurture trust.
It is surprising especially in the current generation to hear people say words such as, “I don’t need friends in my life.” or “friends suck.” In most cases, such statements are brought about by heartbreaks and some kind of bitterness which makes some people think that they do not need people around them. It is very wrong as an individual to adopt an analogy that you think is true just because you are going or went through a tough moment caused by someone you once considered to be a friend. Lacking friends can lead to damages just as drug abuse.
Every friend is important and their importance is known to us when certain situations arise which can only be solved by our friends. One can never feel lonely in this world if he or she is surrounded by true friends. On the other hand, loneliness prevails in the lives of those who do not have friends despite of billions and billions of people present in the world. It has been truly said that “A friend in need is a friend indeed.”
Unfortunately, it is hard to get that genuine friend that you may long for but all in all it is possible. You ought to open your eyes and see for yourself who among the people around you are your true friends. Genuine friends are very loyal people: to their family and friends. If they make a promise, they will definitely keep it. They have a tendency to be self-sacrificing to those close to them and mankind in general. These are the kind of friends that you need to do your best if possible, not to let them go.
We all need friends as part of us. The proper caring and feeding of our friends start with understanding—not only why we all act in certain ways but also how to best appreciate our nearest and dearest. When we take the time to truly appreciate our friends, they’ll appreciate us for it.
Paul talks about the loyalty of friends and the willingness of those close to us to look out for one another. In this case, Timothy and Epaphroditus are the types of friends that take care of those close to them as we can see in Philippians 2:19-26 – “I want to be encouraged by news about you. So, I hope the Lord Jesus will soon let me send Timothy to you. I don’t have anyone else who cares about you as much as he does. The others think only about what interests them and not about what concerns Christ Jesus. But you know what kind of person Timothy is. He has worked with me as a son in spreading the good news. I hope to send him to you, as soon as I find out what is going to happen to me. And I feel sure that the Lord will also let me come soon. I think I ought to send my dear friend Epaphroditus back to you. He is a follower and a worker and a soldier of the Lord, just as I am. You sent him to look after me, but now he is eager to see you. He is worried because you heard he was sick.”
Reading about personality theory has helped me to better understand why some of my friends revel in a busy social life or crave alone time; why they are perfectly punctual or forever fashionably late; why they like to take charge or go with the flow. But beyond the ins and outs of behavior, the temperament types theory has taught me how to care for others in a way that is unique to their personality.
In conclusion, I beseech us to shift our focus from making enemies amongst us and instead as highlighted in Romans 12:10 focus to love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.
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