What Is True Friendship?
“A friend loves at all times,” (Proverbs 17:17). Human beings have a deep longing for acceptance and fellowship with fellow human beings. Proverbs 17:17 also states that “a brother is born for adversity.” A true friend is as close as a brother and willing to walk with us through our deepest struggles.
As wonderful as human relationships are, they are never perfect in this world. Our friendships are all too often artificial when we reveal our flaws, (sins), or they divulge theirs to us. Unfortunately, this means that our friendships are often quite insecure, prompting us to look for a friendship that is more certain because it is not based on what the other person finds pleasing in us. The only one who can provide this kind of perfect friendship is Christ.
To students of American history, one example of the importance of friendship for believers can be found in the diary of Esther Burr, the third of Jonathan and Sarah Edwards’ eight daughters and a Christian housewife living in Colonial New Jersey in the mid-1750s. Esther declared: “Nothing is more refreshing to the soul (except communication with God Himself) than the company and fellowship of a friend.”
Esther earnestly sought to know the presence of God in her life. She came to appreciate the fact that friends are a divine gift. In her diary, she wrote: “Tis… a great mercy himself that we have any friends—What would this world be without them. A person who looks upon himself to be friendless must of all creatures be miserable in this Life.” True friends are those with whom one can share the deepest things of life with. They are people with whom one can be transparent, open and one can “disclose their whole soul.”
Christ is the purest example of a friend we can find in the Bible, laying down His life—His extraordinarily valuable life—for the friends, whom he loved. Although he had the power to call those around Him His servants, He called them friends.
Lord, thank You for being my friend.