Who's Your Best Friend ?
As a lay counsellor I find that many of the individuals
that seek me out for counsel are those whose friends ,
have let them down.
The dictionary says a friend is someone who is a neignbour, comrade or brother.
An old adage says " a friend is in need is a friend in deed".
However, if you search the scriptures you will find that friends and friendship are not as admirable as the dictionary or the old saying make them appear.
For example in the Old Testament you will find that in,
some cases you are to avoid friends or that only the wealthy have friends.
This is borne out in Proverbs 19:4 which says "wealth brings many friends , but a poor man's friend deserts him,
Further in that chapter in verse 7 we are told "a poor man is shunned by all his reatives - how much more do his friend avoid him".
Though he pursues them with pleding, they are nowhere to be found"...
From Job's story you learn that some friends are really only concerned with your status and / or wealth.
One must wonder why in today's society we believe in
having friends at any cost, to the point of losing our own
idenitity in order to hold on to them.
must say here, that I too felt this way and suffered a
deal in the process, I tried to hold on to firends for any number of reason like wanting to fit in, not wanting to be
on one's own , but in the end I had to let them go in accordance with God's will and purpose for me...
I do believe now (as I have grown a bit wiser) that perhaps the Lord used these individuals as a type of "refiners fire.
Experience has taught me and I"m sure many of you reading this that some friendships are durable, this the case when the indivduals concerned are consistently changing, growing and are of like mind.
Some firendships are only for a season or as long as the parties remain accessible to one another...
Many of us have had friends very much like Job's three friends, Persons on whom we thought we could depend,
but when the "chips" were down, either we could not find
them or their dismayed us. Psalm 38: 11 seems to be a standard in times of trouble. As a matter of fact, if you look back over the span of time you will find that Zec.13:6
can be applied as well (if someone ask him, what are those wounds on your body ? he will answer , the wounds I was given at the house of my friends")
This Statement may bring to your mind right now that friend who you trusted , who you told your secrets and entrusted your child / children to, only to find he or she betrayed that trust..
The psalmist in 41:9 put it this way
even my close friend whom I trusted , he who shared my bread, has lifted up his heel against me".
Praise God for his word through which he speaks to us of one friendship for which we can model our own relationship with others..
Ruth and Naomi, Their friendship passed the test.
Their relationship was built on AGAPE, the Love of God.
It is most intersting to note that not only were they friends
but they happened to be mother and daugther-in-law.
An example for those of you who are married and those planning to be married.
Years of openness produced love and trust, and consequently a perennial friendship.
And yes , for those of us who have bad experience and have been disappointed by friend, we can know this ,
we have a friend , his name is Jesus.
There is a verse of a song that I used to sing along with the Praise and Worship team that says "Let the rain fall,
Let the wind blow, there is a place that I can go,
I have a friend , his name is Jesus".
Proverbs 18:24 describes the type of friend we should be and the type of friend we have in Jesus.
It is my prayer that in some way someone reading this will not be discouraged by friendship that fade.
Nothing is truly lasting, except the Agape love of God.
Strive to be the best friend that you can be and allow the
Holy Spirit to dwell into the situtation.
Remember you have a friend on whom you can depend,
his name is Jesus.
Be Encourage My Friend.
Written by , R Cecilis Askew