What Is A True Friend?

Heh heh heh…I couldn’t resist putting that graphic up there before delving into this post!

A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.  Proverbs 18:24

The burgeoning world of social media has redefined the notion of friend–on one platform in particular.  When that platform debuted in 2004 many early users raced to accumulate as many friends as possible; high numbers were a status symbol.  Then people realized most of their friends weren’t friends at all and they started “unfriending” (the word entered the dictionary in 2009).  This process raised a good question which continues today:  What is a true friend? – Turning Point email, December 14, 2017

Ah yes, I remember it well when I was on Facebook several years ago.  I had a “friend” who unfriended me because I disliked the policies of Obama.  I wonder what she now thinks of that terrible administration now that a lot of scandals are being found out?

I also had someone criticize me on there because of my pro-life views.  I guess she objected to my saying, “Choose Life, Your Mother Did.”  I would think that particular “saying” would be difficult to counter and it might be very hard to object to it; without being able to agree that abortion is the killing of a baby in the womb.

All people who are pro-abortion have been born and are living (or, had lived on this earth)!  The over 50 million babies who have egregiously been aborted in the U.S. since that awful Extreme Court decision in 1973 had no say in the matter, did they?

You name the cause and there will be people for and against it.  Relatives and friends who are so rabidly anti-Trump are difficult to speak with or to even have a civil, rational, or polite conversation with them.  Therefore, I have chosen to avoid the arguments altogether.

However, one sweet relative (who is very liberal/progressive in her views) did say to me that she wasn’t going to let our differences over the 2016 presidential election harm our friendly relationship.  I really appreciated that so much!  I do know that she is going to get politically active to defeat Trump in 2020, but so what?  At least the heartfelt friendship that we have hasn’t been destroyed by our political differences.

The political arena these days is so difficult to watch anymore!  The hatred and disdain that politicians, TV news pundits, Hollyweird actors, political operatives, hate groups that protest (and harm their opponents and destroy property) snobby college professors and their snowflake students, the various races in our nation, etc. have all taken the vitriol, anger, intense dislike and extreme aversion and hostility to levels that I have never seen before in my 63 years of life on this earth!  Sometimes I think, “Dear Lord, how much longer will you tarry before you rescue us from this place?”

But then, I look at my sweet granddaughter.  I hug and kiss her, play with her toys with her, go to the playground with her, read books to her, play “ring around the rosy” with her, and watch endless episodes of “Peppa Pig” on TV with her!  The joy of life with her makes the rancor that surrounds any and every news cycle fade away.  In fact, when I don’t watch the news I am happier!

Family!  Family is what matters most in the life!  God created the family for a specific purpose.  Those relationships and the bond that they create are supposed to be for a lifetime!  Sometimes that’s not the case when arguments, disagreements, perceived “unhealthy communications” and the overstepping of certain “boundaries” happen that cause young adult married children to choose to be estranged from their parents.   Healing can occur and relationships can be repaired when the chance to talk about and resolve such issues happen.   However, both parties need to “come to the table,” sit face to face and agree to talk with each other in order to “hash it all out” and be reconciled.

Back to the Turning Point Devotional email:

The Bible talks about friendship.  Abraham and God were friends (Isaiah 41:8; James 2:23).  Jonathan and David were friends (1 Samuel 18:1)–they were friends that were closer to one another than to their own brothers (Proverbs 18:24).  These friendships imply something deeper than a blood connection–intimacy, love, and loyalty.  The ultimate expression of such friendship was expressed by Jesus when He declared His disciples to be His friends for whom He was prepared to die (John 15:13-15).  Jesus extends His hand (His life) of friendship to all who will accept His invitation.

Jesus has declared His friendship for us–His intimacy, love, and loyalty.  It is up to us to do the same for Him.  Friendship is a two-way relationship.

Yes!  Friendship is a two-way relationship!  Love of family members with one another is a two-way relationship!  And what does Jesus tell us is required?  Intimacy, love, and loyalty.

Friendship cannot be faked.  Either one of the adherents suddenly “knows” that a friendship is over, or perhaps both have a mutual agreement not to be friends anymore.

When I was on Facebook, the only true friends that I had on there were (mostly) people that I knew in person.  The rest of the “friends” were usually superficial (except for those who I had corresponded with on this blog or via email).  Superficial can be defined as:

5. shallow; not profound or thorough:

a superficial writer.
6. apparent rather than real.

7. insubstantial or insignificant:  superficial improvements.

Yes.  That’s it!  That is where all that “unfriending” on Facebook comes in.

Jesus tells us:

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