What Is A Friend?

12 Dec

“What is a friend? A single soul dwelling in two bodies.”  ~ Aristotle

I get the biggest kick out of social media.  There are many people who are on Facebook who consider it a personal victory to have as many “friends” as possible.  They make a count of the people who are connected to them as friends even though they may not even know the person.  Sometimes, they are simply friends because those people are friends of friends (who may be friends of friends of friends, et cetera).  Those “friendships” are sometimes tenuous at best.

True friends, however, are an entirely different matter.  I remember a teacher many years ago in high school who told us that if we would ever have one, two, or three people in our lives whom we could call best friends, we would be fortunate.

So often, “friendship” comes with strings attached.  It is a quid pro quo kind of relationship.  If that is the case, I am here to tell you that is not a friendship.  Friendship is not quid pro quo.  Friends do not consider what the other person “owes”.  Friendship does not come with strings or conditions of any kind.

That is awfully hard for us to understand, though, since that is often the way that we quantify our friendships.  How often have we heard people say, “I’m not calling.  They owe me a call.” or “I’m not sending a Christmas card to them until they send me one.  I sent them one for two years now and didn’t get anything back from them.”  When we use those kinds of measures to determine how we are going to relate, that is not friendship.  That is merely a relationship or an acquaintance.

God calls us friends.  He gave us the best of Himself — His Son — even when we did not really care.  His Son died for us even when we turned our backs on Him.  God continues to love us even when we ignore Him.  He will always be there for us.  Can we say the same about our regard for Him?

If God is important, these days of Advent are important.  They are more than shopping, writing, cooking, baking, cleaning, and visiting.  They are days in which we prepare ourselves for a great spiritual moment: the celebration of the birth of Christ.

Do you know that Jesus is your friend?  What kind of friend are you to Him?

FAITH ACTION:  Do you know someone who could really use a friend?  Step in and become one for them.