When i was growing up, i learned a helpful mnemonic tool as far as spelling a certain word is concerned. That word is friend. And the tool i memorized long ago was immortalized by me in lyrics i composed in high school.
Friend ends with e-n-d
That spells end, which means
That friends stick together til the end
Friends stick together til the end, yeah they stick it out til the end
The picture and quote from my calendar today reminded me of the topic of friendship:
When i read Watterson’s quote there, my mind was instantly drawn back to Solomon. He had some very profound words in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12.
Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their efforts. For if either falls, his companion can lift him up; but pity the one who falls without another to lift him up. Also, if two lie down together, they can keep warm; but how can one person alone keep warm? And if someone overpowers one person, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not easily broken.
When you have a friend, you do not have to worry as much. Someone will have your back when enemies are surrounding you. Someone will pick you up when you fall. Someone will comfort you when you are down. This list could grow exponentially: what would you add to it?
But really, what would you add to it?
What would you want your friends to do for you?
Whatever you want your friends to do for you, you must do for your friends. If all friendship means to you is getting time, care, and attention from others, then you do not understand friendship. If your list grew easily then you might want to check your selfishness, pride, and love levels.
I’d be willing to bet the first two are high and the last one is low.
How many friends do you have?
Please do not go on Facebook to get an answer to this question. Facebook friends can be anyone from your mom or brother to a random fling you had fifteen years ago or a guy you talked to in Starbucks for ten minutes one time. Neither of these constitute true friendships. Solomon even said in Proverbs 27:10, “Better a neighbor nearby than a brother far away.”
If we want a definition of true friendship, we must look at Jesus. He said the following in John 15:13, “No one has greater love than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friends.” He put this in practice when He sacrificed His life upon the cross 2,000 years ago.
This is what friendship looks like. It is not primarily about what you can get, but about what you can give. If your friendships are lacking, try being a friend like Jesus.
If you want friends, be a friend! Model your life after Jesus. Lay your life down for others. It is not about you.
Soli Deo Gloria