“What would you do if I sang out of key, would you stand up and walk out on me?”*
What are we looking for in a friend?
Not an acquaintance “Yes I remember you (I don’t) so good to see you”
Not a companion “I remember you, you accompanied us on the trip”
Not a colleague “Oh I remember you, you worked on that committee. So nice to see you again”.
No what we want is an ally, a supporter, a brother or sister in arms, someone who cares about us that will stick beside us all the way no matter what may come.
My wife has those kind of friends. She has lived in the same community for most of her life. She has friends that have been together since childhood. They stay in touch, have lunch together often, celebrate good things together, and pray for one another when times are hard.
I envy her.
My experience was different. My family moved a lot during my growing up years. This trend continued into my adult years. I was not good at maintaining relationships and my friends were left behind. I could really identify with the words from this familiar song.
When I was younger, so much younger than today
I never needed anybody’s help in any way
But now these days are gone, I’m not so self-assured
Now I find, I’ve changed my mind, I’ve opened up the doors.
Help me if you can, I’m feeling down
And I do appreciate you being ’round
Help me get my feet back on the ground
Won’t you, please, please help me?
Some years ago when my mom became ill, I spent an extended time in Nashville my hometown and soon realized that I was no longer close or in touch with anyone I grew up with, relative or friend.
Not a good feeling.
We need friendship and I believe God places this desire in our heart. Life is not meant to be lived alone, the need for friends goes deeper than social reasons or the reasons we might think we need friends for.
Even Jesus had a close circle of friends.
My daughters youth pastor would often say:
“Show me your friends and I will show you your future”
The friends we choose impact our lives and the book of Proverbs has a lot to say about friends. Good ones and bad ones
“One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin,
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother”
“The godly give good advice to their friends”
Friends bring wisdom
“One who walks with the wise becomes wise,
but whoever keeps company with fools only hurts himself”.
True friends are always there in time of need
“A friend is always loyal,
and a brother is born to help in time of need. Proverbs 17:17
A true friend will tell the truth even when you don’t want to hear it
“Wounds inflicted by the correction of a friend prove he is faithful;
the abundant kisses of an enemy show his lies”.
Good friends bring peace and happiness to our lives
“The heartfelt counsel of a friend
is as sweet as perfume and incense”.
Good friends challenge us, even when we don’t agree
“As iron sharpens iron,
so a friend sharpens a friend”
Friends stick beside you
Friends give good Godly advice
Friends are loyal
Friends are there in good times and bad
Friends rejoice with you
Friends mourn with you
Friends tell you the truth. Even when it hurts
Friends bring joy and peace
I am thankful that over the last 20 years the Lord in His goodness has brought good friends into my life. It began with my first and best friend Jesus Christ.
I met my wife and she became my closest friend.
Through her family my father-in-law and my brother-in law became two of the most faithful and honest friends I have ever known. And they were always willing to speak straight with me
As my wife and I became a part of and involved in the local church we met and formed friendships that have encouraged us, challenged us and helped us to grow spiritually and in community. With these friends we have formed bonds of friendship that remain on into eternity.
And He didn’t just give me local friends. I traveled with Convoy of Hope as a volunteer for a season and met and formed friendships with people all over the U.S.
As I am writing this I think about all of you I have made contact with through Christian Blessings blog.
England, Brazil, India, the Philippines, Australia, Afghanistan, China, Russia, Mexico friends from all over the world.
I am so encouraged by your writing and insight, and that we share a common interest and goal, the advancing of the Good News of Jesus Christ. I am truly grateful for all of you!
And I know you would all still be my friends even if I sang out of key!
I want to thank you all who have taken time to read and comment on my blog. It means so much to me. I may never meet all of you personally here but what a reunion we will have when we get there!