The topic of “friends” and “friendship” seem to swarm around from time to time in each of our lives in different ways – and they keep swarming. The world has gone to such a length to be PC (politically correct) as to rewrite, or at least recast, how “friendship” is defined. A simple definition follows:
“One who is attached to another by affection; one who entertains for another sentiments of esteem, respect and affection, which lead him to desire his company, and to seek to promote his happiness and prosperity; opposed to foe or enemy.”
Webster’s 1828 Dictionary
Most likely, many Christians have heard two of the commonly used “friend” verses in the Bible (KJV):
Proverbs 17:17 “A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”
Proverbs 18:24 “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.”
There are two other uses of “friend” in the Bible that few are aware or recall, one of which came to my mind immediately, both of them spoken by the Lord Jesus Christ; Jesus to Judas when he kissed the Lord (Matthew 26:48-50) and the King to the Wedding Guest who was without the appropriate wedding garment (Matthew 22:11-14). Along that same line, the most well known “friend” quote of all has to be the following:
“Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.”
Chinese General Sun Tzu, The Art of War
It is indeed NOT a Bible quote or reference, although we can see in several places in the Scriptures where the concept of it was mimicked. Yet the one that came to my mind as a basis for this Series, yet isn’t use for it, is John 15:13-14 – the most important “friend” lesson we could ever be taught as Christians:
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.”
John 15:13-14 | King James Version
Friendship is one of the very first things that we see in the Bible, by the way of companionship and communication – Adam with God the Father and then Adam and Eve, and so forth. Those relationships were paramount, coming at great cost because of decisions that were made at the influence of others. The very first statement made in this Series is a rock solid consideration we need to KNOW:
“Friends are treasures, true gifts from God.“
What is considered in my mind when “friends” are being discussed, are those that are my “best” friends, of which I’ve had very few. My very best friend from childhood is one individual that at one time would have done anything for me – I’d echo that today, but that friendship is strained because of a series of events which are unfortunate.
Today, I’ve several friendship-relationships (which is what I call them in the place of “friendship”) that fit this Series, one even who loves to sharpen me every time he gets the opportunity… Another who keeps up with me, even when she is down for the count – she calls, texts, messages, e-mails and calls my wife to make sure that I’m doing what I should be doing. I’ve got one who is a self prescribed Doctor – who through all of his “honk-splat, honk-splat” and hair management glue – he takes the time to keep up with me and wants to know things are going – he cares to know.
The friendship-relationship in the continued building stage with a fella in whom I’m pleased and thankful to call my Pastor, began many, many years ago – he’s OVER 50, so it required two many’s to be used. Never did I have any idea that I’d step back into his realm of influence and be so Encouraged by him – a True Treasure who keeps reminding me to “keep on keeping on for Him…”
These are real people who have become so important to me because of my Relationship with my Saviour – they are True Gifts from God the Father – otherwise, I would have never crossed their paths, nor they mine.
The following list of “Treasures” describes who “Friends” are and can be. It also is presented, in detail enough, so we’ll know how we can be Friends to others.
Friends are treasures, true gifts from God.
A friend is someone, who loves you as you are.
One who sees not only who you are, but who you can become.
One who is there to catch you when you fall, and one you can share your everyday experiences.
One who accepts your worst, but helps you to become your best.
Someone who understands your past, believes in your future and accepts you today just the way you are.
Someone who comes in when the whole world has gone out.
As I really took a look at this list, going past the “friend” defined as we’ve heard it so many times, the real meat of this began to build in my own heart and mind. Questions arose in me to review – am I the friend that is being described here?, do I love others that I call my friends like this?, who would I call the name of that knows me like no one else does, besides the Lord God of Heaven? Who am I being a friend to, which has NOT been built as to be a treasure, as to be a Gift from God? I have those that I “Treasure”, but who considers me to be so for them… This is known for fact: The very BEST friend we can have is our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! I’m going to keep on acting like, thinking like, loving like, being like the Lord Jesus – for that is where as much of my time as possible will be spent learning how to do so. Bro. Norris, Sis. Nancy, Bro. Steve & Bro. Jeff – all of you are Treasures to me – Gifts of High Value.
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