‘There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.’ Proverbs 18:24 NIV
Ancient Roman writer Marcus Tullus Cicero said, ‘Friendship improves happiness and abates misery, by the doubling of our joy and the dividing of our grief.’ The fact is, it’s impossible to have more than a few close friends because true friendship takes time, attention, and commitment. ‘One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother’ (Proverbs 18:24 NIV). The hallmarks of real friendship include these:
1) Trust. American philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: ‘The glory of friendship is not in the outstretched hand, nor the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when he discovers that someone else believes in him and is willing to trust him.’
2) Giving and receiving.
Sometimes, one person will be the primary giver, and sometimes the other. But true friendships are always two-sided.
3) Sharing your lives. Blind and deaf American author Helen Keller said: ‘My friends have made the story of my life. In a thousand ways, they have turned my limitations into beautiful privileges and enabled me to walk serene and happy in the shadow cast by my deprivation.’
4) Mutual enjoyment. In a true friendship, you spend time together just for the joy of it. What you do isn’t necessarily of significance. Unfortunately, the busyness of life makes us forget what a joy this can be.
5) Respecting one another.
How do you build respect? By not letting obstacles or circumstances become more important than the relationship. When the pressure is on, you continue to treat one another with patience and kindness. And when the relationship is struggling, you work to preserve it.
SoulFood: Num 19-21 Matt 11:10-19 Ps 111 Pro 3:29-30
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2024