Enjoying the Journey
As a boy I heard an older man say, “If you have a handful of true friends in life you are a wealthy person.” At the time I thought it was a ridiculous statement. I had a lot of friends! I planned to make more…
Now, at middle age, I am that older man! And I am beginning to understand.
There are many casual friendships in life, and even more acquaintances. But, true friends? They are rare, precious, priceless. And they do not come by accident.
It is easy to make friends. It is harder to keep them.
Some people make friends easily, but true friendship requires work. Someone has to work at it! The same is true for maintaining friendships. Time, distance, other people, distractions all provide potential disruptions to friendship.
True friends know this. True friends work at the friendship.
God is teaching me more about this every day. We all want friends, but we do not get what we want – we get what we are. If we want to have true friends then we must learn to be one.
- True friends care. Conversation reveals heart. True friends don’t just want to tell you how they are doing; they want to ask how you are doing. Sometimes the greatest mark of friendship is just the willingness to listen.
Proverbs 27 reveals several marks of true friendship. The first is that a true friend cares enough to wound you, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend” (vs. 6).
- True friends communicate. Sure, there are those friends you do not see for years that you feel like you talked to yesterday. When you reunite it is like you were never apart. But for the most part true friendship means there is regular communication.
Jesus taught us this when He said to His disciples, “I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you” (John 15:15). This is the secret to building true friendship: share your heart. Talk about spiritual things. Bring others into what God is doing in your life.
- True friends contribute. Not money. Something more important than money – themselves. They give to the relationship. True friends do not drain you; they desire to build you up. Through their time and investment you become more of what God intended.
Proverbs 27 again: “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend” (vs. 17).
Just this morning I talked to a true friend. I thank God for such gifts. By God’s grace I want to work to be more of that kind of friend to others.
Our generation knows a lot about Facebook friends. This world is full of fair weather friends. We need an increase of people who want to be like Jesus – a true friend.