Most places in the Bible, the word “friend” means “intimate companion” or “close associate.” In one place in Isaiah, God talks about Abraham, his friend, and the literal meaning there is “love.” There have been some crazy things said about “friends” in the name of “spirituality.” I’ve heard people say we don’t need to have friends, only disciples. I know people who think that, if you have a friend, then you’re just co-dependent. I just kind of shake my head at those folks who, because they have no friends, try to come up with a spiritual reason why everyone else should feel guilty for having friends. I figure if God loved Abraham and called him His friend, then it’s okay for me to have a friend, too!
In fact, I am incredibly grateful for my friends. It takes a real friend to stick by you when you’re going through tough times. It takes a true friend to be willing to watch your back AND get in your face when necessary. It’s only my closest friends who really understand the joy I feel when I’m celebrating a victory or accomplishment, because they’ve been there with me through every step of the way. Friends are valuable and priceless… just ask God.
So, cultivate true friends. Pattern your friendships after the incredible examples we have in the Bible… God and Abraham, David and Jonathan, Paul and Barnabus. Celebrate and treasure the friendships God has brought into your life. Friends don’t expect you to be perfect… they just expect you to be YOU.
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” – John 15:13