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my friend…

Proverbs 27:10 10 Do not forsake your friend or a friend of your family, and do not go to your relative’s house when disaster strikes you— better a neighbor nearby than a relative far away.

God places us in the paths of others and places them in our paths. Using a social network to connect with others and to locate old friends can be very useful but, it is not what I mean in the following perspective. Friendship is not measured by how many virtual connections you and I can make. Friends have to be close, it is a personal relationship.

In my own experience, I’ve learned that good and lasting friendship is a collaborative effort; it is not bound by cultural and ethnic barriers. Good friends are not egocentric, they go out of their way to help and to be with each other, and they participate in each other’s pain, joy. They pray and rely on each other during times of trials; never giving up and never judging. David and Jonathan (1 Samuel 23:16-18), Ruth and Naomi (Ruth 1:16) are wonderful examples of friendships in the Bible.

A good friend is not someone who necessarily agrees with everything you do and say—it is somebody who lovingly challenges you to be a better person and who allows you to do the same. Once I had two friends; a married couple. The husband decided to divorce his wife of many years. He then asked me to stand by him against his wife. My response was no, as this was not true friendship. A friend cannot be divisive; for that I lost who I believe at the time was a real friend.

Friendship is not easy and can be very painful especially; when it is not reciprocal, when the relationship is not transparent, when it is all about our needs and not about the other person’s needs, when it does not accept the differences or when it seeks to change the other person to be exactly like us.

Do you have friends who encourage you, shed tears with you, connect with you in times of trials, pray with you, who are not judgmental and who have stood the test of time with you and, did not forget? Friends who offer the comfort of God’s grace when it is most needed? Are you such a friend to others?

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