Friends are friends forever: Part 1 - Hope 103.2

Friends are friends forever: Part 1

Morning Devotions is for those curious about the Christian faith and who want to explore Christian issues that relate to their daily life.

By Chris WittsSunday 12 Apr 2015Morning Devotions with Chris WittsUncategorizedReading Time: 0 minutes

Transcript:

One of the better known quotes from the Hollywood movies comes from the 1942 movie “Casablanca” when Humphrey Bogart who plays Rick says to Captain Renault in the final scene as they walk into the fog “Louie,I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship”. It’s one of those memorable quotes that touches the heart,don’t you think?

Most of us realise the importance of friendship. Young,old,male or female,married or single,we like to have at least one friend with whom we get along and are able to share life’s journey. But true friendship is becoming a rare quality these days. A good friend is sometimes hard to find. It’s not that easy to find someone in whom we can trust,even in the hard times,and with whom we can share even our shortcomings. God has made us to connect with people,and good friends can make life easy to bear and help us enjoy quality of life.

There is nothing more meaningful in life than to have a close friend,someone who will stand by you in the good and bad times. But experience has shown that genuine friendship is hard to find. A real friend is a rare gift. It was reported that as he lay dying,Greek philosopher Aristotle said “O my friends,there is no friend”. The Greeks of his day valued friendship in a way that we know nothing about. Sad,really,that after all Aristotle had done in his years of sharing,that he did not have a single friend.

Perhaps this is mirrored in today’s life which has become so impersonal and superficial. Is it because we use the word “friend” too freely? We meet a person once,and immediately they become our friend. Probably the word “friend” has become confused with the word “acquaintance”. A true friend understands you,shares your hopes and sorrows,knows you very well,and loves you anyway. The Celtic Christians were encouraged to find a “soul friend”,someone with whom everything was shared from the heart. It’s a real pity we don’t encourage friendships to be on a deeper and more meaningful level. If that happened,more people would sense life is satisfying and enjoyable instead of leading lives of quiet desperation. We come into the world alone,and we leave the world alone when we die. People can be alone even in the most crowded city like Sydney because loneliness has little to do with whether people are around you. Loneliness has to do with the isolation we feel when we have no meaningful relationships with people. With the breakdown of relationships today,it seems that we need friends as never before. The hectic pace of life and our tendency to move from place to place has hindered the opportunities to make friends. I also think we spend too much time in front of TV and computers,which makes us distrust people,and we are reluctant to let our guard down.

The old saying is true. “If you want to have a friend,be friendly yourself.” Finding a true friend takes work,time and effort. It involves a shared sense of caring and concern,a desire to see each other grow and succeed in life. It means doing things to help out while not expecting anything in return. I’ve heard people say “she’s a good friend of mine”,yet I know it’s a one way relationship. And what about the element of trust? Trust is essential for a real friendship to grow and develop as it should. When we share our deepest thoughts,we want to feel secure our comments won’t end up on a web site somewhere. Friends share much in common. Someone has said “if you can count your true friends on the fingers of one hand,you are blessed”. Maybe you’re one of the fortunate people who have a lot of close friends. Thank God for them.

The Bible has some interesting things to say about friendship. Proverbs 27:17 says “Just as iron sharpens iron,friends sharpen the minds of each other”. I read recently that “people don’t know how much you know until they know how much you care”.

A good friend will be dependable and encouraging,giving you the support you need. They bring out the best in us. Through interaction with our friends,we are made better people. Iron sharpens iron. Through our relationship with others,we gain knowledge,we draw wisdom,we sharpen our skills,increase our ability,and we re-think our views on life. How helpful is that! A good friend doesn’t seek to tear you down,but to build you up.

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In Ecclesiastes chapter 4,we read these verses: “You are better off to have a friend than to be all alone,because then you will get more enjoyment out of what you earn. If you fall,your friend call help you up. But if you fall without having a friend nearby,you are really in trouble”. (v 9,10. CEV).