A Friend sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs)
Much has been written on friendship. Much more will be written (DV) on friendship. There have been novels, poems, non-fiction works, essays, and articles written on friendship.Today (DV) we will add to that number.
There seems to be (2) two extremes in friendship. The first extreme is a person speaking to or seeing (1) one or more persons each and every day if not many times a day. The other extreme is speaking to or seeing another person or others very little, yet the friendship is true. By calling these (2) two types extremes, it should go without saying that there are different types of friendships in the middle, such as the frienemy. The (2nd) second extreme is the type that can be picked up as no time has passed, though much time has passed.
I am reminded of John Calvin. Calvin has just returned from exile. He had been gone a number of years. He approached the pulpit and began his exposition at the same place as where he left off years ago…this is a good picture of the (2nd) second extreme.
My type of friendship is the (2nd) second extreme. I am not the sit on the phone, let’s hang out type. This does not mean that I love my friend(s) less than the (1st) first extreme. I could not be this kind of friend and fulfil my calling to God. However, (DV), I will make myself available to any and all others if needed and I think I have proven this. I am a friend at a distance. I thinks, as a preacher, the best friends one can have is other preachers.
I remember a time when I was a teenager; I was approached by a guy, that I had a very nasty bareknuckle contest with ,years prior. He had gotten himself in to trouble again. He had no one to help him. This does not necessarily speak to his character but to the character of those he chose as “friends.” The help he need was of the physical kind. Without a (2nd) second thought I agreed. I helped him out. There have been other times where I stayed in the hospital over night with someone I had not seen or spoken with for along time. There was a time I spent a thanksgiving with a friend in a psych unit on thansgiving with a person that hurt me over and over again. I do not tell you these things to gloat, Godforbid. I relate these things to you to describe friendship.
I have heard friendship defined as “one running in when everyone else is running out.” I describe it as something that never dies, and Scripture defines it as “someone who sticks closer than a brother.” Scripture also defines friendship as, “The Lord Jesus Christ.”
Frienship or rather persons can grow. For the first (42) forty-two years of my life I was what could be described as reserved, quiet, restrained. I was not shy as We were able to stand in front of hundreds of persons and speak of Christ. I had no trouble speaking to hundreds, but i had trouble speaking to (1) one. I was not one to spark up a conversation or even to carry on much of a conversation. Small talk was anathema to me. The ringing phone was anathema.
Behold, in my (43) forty-third year everything changed. There was a sacred moment between my God and me. I was never (DV) to be the same again. There was given to me a boldness and a liberty that I have never before known. I am still a friend at a distance but now we are able to approach others, whether they are known to us or not, and speak to them freely and to counsel them according to their needs. We are able to reprove those that speak of Hell as a party. We are able to encourage believers we have never met and provide a sinner with the prophet’s “Woe unto you.”
We have raised our children to know the difference between friends and acquantances. It is important to get these definitions right. We have already given some definitions to friendship. (DV), we will give a few more. A friend knows things that could destroy you. However, if this person is a friend, there is no concern at all. An acquantance is someone you know at work or someone you know through others, An acquantance might become a true friend someday, but it will take time. The majority of your “FRIENDS” on Face Book are most likely aqcquantances and one should be careful what one shares with these “FRIENDS” if you are wise enough to value your future.
If one were to study this subject in the life of the Lord Jesus one will get a good understanding of friendship.If my memory is accurate, our Lord had (18) eighteen – (21) twenty-one friends.These would include the (11) eleven disciples, Zacheas, Lazarus, Mary and Martha, Magdalene, Joseph or Arimetha, Nicodemus, Paul of Tarsus, and Possibly the owner of the colt and the owner of the upper room. Some might think that those that were healed by the great Physician would be considered His friends. However, many of them were told to keep their silence concerning their time with Christ, their healing, as well as His identity but very few obeyed and kept quiet. Remember a friend can be trusted with that which might destroy another. This is why I count the upper floor owner a possibility as a friend. If s/he knew what was going on and who was in the upper room both before the resurrection and after, the secret was kept.
If interested, you could study the friendship of David and Jonathan, Saul’s son; You could also look at Elijah and Elisha; Paul and John Mark and Paul and Demus. in other writings you can look at Sherlock Holmes and John Watson in “The Three Garridebs.” Batman and Jim Gordon, Samuel Johnson and Boswell.
Another definition for a close friendship is: If the friend were members of the opposite sex, they could be husband and wife. The same is true of a husband and wife. Humanly speaking, my wife is my very best friend. She knows everything about me and I know all about her. She is my rock, and my guide in this life. Without her I would be completely lost in this life. She is the proving evidence that God has favour upon me.