Friendship is a Holy Calling
One of my dearest friends is a person I have known since our childhood. Another is with a person who passed me in the hallway at college wearing a t-shirt advertising a band we both liked. One of my most defining friendships is with a man who happened to preach down the road from me 30+ years ago.
Most of our friendships are the result of proximity and mutual interests, but there’s more to it than that, isn’t there? We recognize a connection in our spirits that goes beyond ourselves. There is an understanding that God has brought us together.
Friendship is a holy calling.
What Makes Your Best Friend Your Best Friend?
That’s the question I asked last week on my Facebook page and Instagram. What qualities make that person the one you rely on more than any other. The spot-on answers I got proved that I get by with a little help from my friends!
Brad said, “Shared experiences, both good and bad.” Susan replied with, “Knowing you better than you know yourself!” Patrick (a guy who became my friend after selling me a used car) wrote, “Intentional Honesty!”
That’s exactly what I want to hear from a used car salesman (and a friend)!
Friendship is a major theme in the book of Proverbs. Some proverbs tell us of the importance of consistency in our friends and warn of those fair-weather friends. Others express the honesty we need from our friends (27:6, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend”). There are even warnings of wearing out our welcome with our friends (Proverbs 25:17, “Let your foot be seldom in your neighbor’s house, lest he have his fill of you and hate you”).
I need a welcome mat with that one on it!
We realize that friendship in Old Testament times wasn’t merely a matter of liking the same band or attending the same summer camp; friendship was a covenant you made with someone who swore to have your back. To step into Proverbs’ neighbor for a moment, this is why Ecclesiastes 4:12 tells us, “though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”
Friendship was a matter of life and death!
God Takes Your Friendships Seriously
Many of the responses I received from my question spoke of laughter and loyalty in all seasons of life. I love that! But please don’t miss that friendship is serious business! Your role is to make your friend better, and your friend should seek to do the same for you. That’s how iron sharpens iron and how one person sharpens another.