I believe the term "friend" has been so devalued and misrepresented in our society and culture that the vast majority have no idea who or what a friend really is supposed to be.
You can be "friends" with someone on Facebook that you have never met in person or that in some cases may not really exist at all. You can be in Godless sexually active relationships knows as being "friends with benefits". You can read post after post online about how real friends never leave you or how people are tired of fake friends in their lives, and the list could go on and on.
What is a friend? Let's take a look at what the bible says. Proverbs 17:17 says a friend loves at all times. It goes on to suggest that a brother is born for adversity. Two powerful points are revealed in this single verse. One, a true friend in your life is going to love you at all times. That alone is going to reveal to most of you reading that your actual list of true friends is a lot shorter than you thought it was. The second thing this verse does is tie in a friend with a blood relative, a brother in this case.
In Jewish custom, a brother to brother relationship is no small thing. Bonding between brothers was (and still is today) critical. Birthright and inheritances would be transferred from brother to brother if the older brother were to die unexpectedly. Brothers had a certain expected right to partake of what the other one had earned. It was nothing for a brother to go into the house of another brother and get something to eat for example. The father who has many sons obviously has created many brothers. We that are in the Kingdom of God are indeed brothers and sisters under the ultimate fatherhood of God himself. Jesus himself identifies this incredible bonding and blood based relationship and expresses it thru the Apostle as he writes that Jesus is not ashamed to call us brothers and sisters. I would suggest the reason that is no big deal to many today is because we have not understood what a big deal being a brother is. And more to the point of today's blog, we do not understand what a friend is and when we start to lose the integrity of the core family unit as we have in this generation thru homosexual glorification and other things of the sort, the natural fruit is the lack of understanding surrounding all relationships.
Mike Murdock coined a phrase that I use liberally when he suggests "I have never lost a true friend, only imposters." The more I travel life's road, the more I grow to appreciate and enjoy that Jesus is a friend and not just a friend but a friend who as the scripture says, sticks closer than a blood brother to me.
Being a Star Trek geek, I am reminded of the classic line in Star Trek 2 as Spock has just given his life to save the ship and everyone on board. Just before he dies he looks into Kirk's eyes and delivers one of the most defining lines in the entire Star Trek universe when he says "I have been and always will be your friend". This is so powerful with the millions of fans around the world in part because it awakened the Godly code built into themselves genetically that a true friend loves at all times.
I am very slow to call someone a friend. I have tens of thousands that I have met over my life, several thousand that i interact with online, several hundred that I interact with weekly or monthly as I live my life and maybe a dozen or so that are close to me that i very much care about and who I believe care very much about me... but a list of true friends, people who never stop loving me, people who consider me to be like blood family to them... that list is pretty short for me and it likely is for you as well.
As a closing note of challenge, I encourage you to take an honest inventory of your life and consider the words of Proverbs 18:24 that gives a big clue as to how we get these types of people who love at all times into our lives... No, I'm not going to post it here, stop being lazy. Go get your bible and look it up. I promise, it will be worth it.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.