The Value of Friendship.

Friendship.

C.S. Lewis once wrote, “Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.”

The Bible says in Colossians 3:12-14 that, “Since God chose you to be the holy people He loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.  Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.  Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.”  Romans 12:10 says “Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.” “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend”, Proverbs 27:17.

I could go on, listing more scripture revealing God’s plan and purpose for friendship, but I think you get the idea.  God’s gift of friendship first and foremost begins with the one he provides you with himself.  He is the basis for how we know to love, forgive, etc.  But because of the disconnect we have created through sin, we don’t get the benefits of a physical friendship like Adam had in the garden of Eden, walking with God in the cool of the day.  God provided a mediator for that gap, and we have that in Jesus–a friendship and a hope that will never fail us. Because he is God, though, he also knows how much we benefit from human contact–from that which we can grasp with our earthly senses.  So one of the many ways the Lord’s love for us manifests itself is in physical friendship with one another.  He knows we need it, therefore he provides it if we ask for it.  As C.S. Lewis stated in the previous quote, you can survive life without friends, but friendship adds such color, such joy, such value to it, why would we even try to survive without it?

From my personal perspective, sure I’ve made some bad choices in the friendship department, but those don’t outweigh the knock-your-socks-off ones I’ve made, only brought about through the divine will of God.  Of course, friendship isn’t a one-way street.  That is my direction for this entry.  If you’ve been blessed with that one-of-a-kind friend who understands you and roots for you and prays for you with all of his or her heart, or if you’ve received an even larger blessing and have more than one of these, remember to cherish them.  Pray for them every chance you get.  Encourage them every day towards the finish line the Lord has them racing for.  Do the little things that show them how much you care. Celebrate every moment with them.  Be there for them in whatever capacity they need, in the good and in the bad. Be kind to them, be merciful to them, be patient with them. Forgive them in your heart before they’ve ever even done anything to be forgiven. Love with every ounce of might within you.  Lovingly push them into being the person God created them to be.  That, my friend, is why God gave us the gift of friendship with one another.

If you don’t have a friend like this, but you want one, God already knows it. Just ask him for that friendship, and he’ll give it to you.  I prayed for my best friend for the majority of the brief life I’ve lived.  Her friendship has completely been worth the wait, and I didn’t even know I was waiting.  God knows.  Seek him and you will find everything you’re looking for, and then some.

-MP



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