Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13
Who can say that they have a friend? Wait, let me define that term. I’m talking about a friend who knows you – not you on the outside but you on the inside. Not the friend that you laugh and share small talk with but the one who sees you with no makeup. The one who knows the story behind all your glory. The one who has seen your ugly cry. A friend that tells you the truth in love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. (Proverbs 27:6) The friend who sees the real you and not your representative or your face for the world. Still got your hand up? Okay, who has a friend that loves you when you don’t love yourself? The friend who loves you in spite of the questionable reputation you may have? The one who risks his good name because he sees the value of who you are and doesn’t care how the world views him. The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children. (Matthew 11:19)
Friendship is the basis of all of our relationships. We have to be careful in whom we place our trust, our hearts, our friendship. Husbands and wives should be friends first. This is the basis of the love relationship. His mouth is most sweet, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend… (Song of Solomon 5:16) The Bible teaches us the characteristics of a real friend as well as the characteristics of a false friend. But how should we go about being a friend and selecting our friends. A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly; and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24) A friend is someone we seek for counsel, for comfort and for confirmation. Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart so doth the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel. (Proverbs 27:9) While having a true friend is a blessing and brings great joy, these same persons can inflict the worst pain. Betrayal of a friend happens to us and it leaves devastating results. We are robbed of our trust. We are reluctant to put our trust in anyone. Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me. (Psalm 41:9) We can all relate to being betrayed by the one we least suspected, right? Ouch! Only those we love and trust can hurt us so deeply. So how can we guard ourselves from hurt and betrayal? With whom can we trust to be our friend at all times? In any circumstance, you know, when we aren’t very friendly ourselves. Who wants to around us when we don’t want to be with ourselves? The world says our friend is the one we have known the longest and spend the most of our time. The one who will “ride or die” with us – meaning they will do whatever we want – good, bad or otherwise – no discretion. You know, the blind leading the blind?
Whatever definition you have of a friend it pales in comparison to my friend. I recommend Jesus! Now you don’t have to take my word for it but go to the Word. His reputation is well documented. The Bible most assuredly tells us who our one, true friend is and that is Jesus Christ. He is a friend to the friendless. He is a friend to anyone who accepts His friendship. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. (John 15:14) The songwriter said it best:
What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.
Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge, take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do your friends despise, forsake you? Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield you; you will find a solace there.
Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised Thou wilt all our burdens bear
May we ever, Lord, be bringing all to Thee in earnest prayer.
Soon in glory bright unclouded there will be no need for prayer
Rapture, praise and endless worship will be our sweet portion there.
So, who’s your BFF? Mine is Jesus and whether you know it or not He’s yours, too. Be blessed and know you have a friend in Jesus.
Norma J. Oliver