When I finished my last blog a couple of weeks ago, I didn’t know that the man who had been the best local friend to me over the past two years of my personal tragedy had just died. He was ready, just as I spoke of being ready there. I trust you are ready today as you read this! Nobody around him was prepared for him to die so suddenly, yet due to being ready, many who knew him are better able to cope with the loss. Since then, and the poem I recently wrote in his memory (this should also be accessible to read on this website soon), I have been thinking a lot about friendship. This is my focus again in this latest blog article….
Who are your friends? I’m not talking about those who are listed as such on some social networking site, such as Facebook, or even those who hang around you or do things with you because you have money or means to do things. You might call those casual friends or even “fair weather friends.” I’m talking about those you consider to be your faithful friends—those people who will stick with you no matter what and do whatever they can to help you; those people who will not only speak truth and give well wishes, but who will extend love to you in word and deed, even when things are not going so well and with no insistence on some kind of repayment. Sadly, through my tragedy, various labels, isolation and lack of financial means, I have learned much more about who my faithful friends really are. When completely honest and objective about it, I see that I do not really have that many faithful friends around me. If you are honest, you would likely say the same thing. This reflects a personal issue you should consider and a greater societal problem revealing the need for a spiritual REVIVAL.
Do you think the Virginia Tech shooter, Seung-Hui Cho, had any faithful friends? I would wager that he did not. In reality, the fact that he perpetuated what is still “the worst shooting massacre in U.S. History” and what we learned from his writings and his horrific acting out on 04-16-07, he did not. What about those plane hijackers that pulled off that horrific tragedy of terrorism on 09-11-01? Did they have any faithful friends? I suggest that they really did not have any faithful friends. No doubt, they had “friends” who agreed with their ideology, yet such a person would likely not have remained a personal friend, were one among them to have decided to back out of what they all had planned.
Do you see where I am going here? A faithful friend is not merely someone who agrees with you or even someone who listens to you. Certainly, a friend will listen and there will be things you have in common, yet a friend will also speak truth to you. They will work to help you as they can, even when you disagree on some point. In fact, what happens in disagreements is a good test to see who will be your “faithful friend.” What happens when you have little to give in return is also quite revealing. Poor people, or those crippled or handicapped in some way, typically have fewer friends (e.g. Proverbs 14:20; 19:4,6). Consider Proverbs 27:6 as well:
“Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.”
Friend :-), please seek to be a faithful friend to all those who GOD brings across your path. Even reach out to others who are not your friends and offer them your personal friendship (see Proverbs 18:24). You can do this and you will be that faithful friend when you are accessing that personal relationship with “the Friend Who sticks closer than a brother”! JESUS CHRIST is a Faithful Friend and HE will repay you and certainly make all right at the resurrection of the just (see Luke 14:14). Be a faithful friend even when you have no other faithful friends!