Proverbs 27:17 “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.”
Hopefully, there is that friend; that ‘go-to’ person that knows practically everything there is to know about you. That friend that has been through the dark times and the good times. That one who isn’t afraid to call you out, but, also stand with you when no one else will.
I hope there is such a one in your life. If you are a saved, born-again, child of God, it is the Lord Jesus Christ. But what are we to do to nurture our friendships?
Proverbs 18:24 “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.”
A selfish person will lament the lack of good friends and feel the victim when, in fact, they are the ones who are lacking.
Friends are there because you were there for them.
Friends take time.
Friends are thoughtful.
Friends encourage, love, and support.
My friendships suffer because I often don’t stop to think about what that one is going through. My life is ‘busy’ – I actually hate that word. I hate is because it is used as a catch-all excuse for why we didn’t do something, say something, accomplish something that matters to someone other than myself.
“I’m busy” covers for the reality that you found something or someone more important. People often ‘trade up’ socially. They will make a commitment until someone else better comes along and invites them; and “I am so sorry – I realized I am busy that night” becomes their excuse. Friends don’t do that.
Of all the disciples, John was the only one who didn’t fear for his life when Jesus was taken to the high priest, to Herod or to Pilate. He was there at the foot of the cross when Jesus told him to take care of Mary. John was a friend to Jesus.
John was sharpened by Jesus. He was made to be far more than he ever could have done on his own.
When you and I become utterly transparent and honest with God, we will begin to find that he sticks ‘closer than a brother.’ God loves us in spite of ourselves. His love is not performance-based. There are many so-called ‘friendships’ that are based on “What have you done for me lately?”
Age has a way of weeding those people out of our lives.
Stick close to those who are willing to stake their very friendship to tell you what they feel you need to hear, not necessarily what you want to hear. God will do that every time.
There are those types of friendships that not a word is spoken, but their presence speaks volumes. There are those who with one word can make us laugh when no one else could. It could be a shared memory, a movie line, a name, or just a goofy reference to a time that brings you both back to a better place.
They know you well enough to be there when it matters most, and they know when it is just time to be quiet and “be” together. My Heavenly Father is all that and more.
I hope you find Him worthy of the same.