You will hear about best friends, friends with benefits, frenemy and friends. Many people are turning to animals now as friends than human beings. They contend that they cannot find true friends amongst humans. The only problem with this thought is that, an animal will always be an animal. An animal will never become a human being, no matter how tamed and trained it is. Others believe that it is preferably to stay without a friend than to have one. With the vulgarity of Facebook rubric "friends," it is now out of the ordinary for people to have total strangers as friends. Some of them have never ever spoken to them, never speak to them,and will never ever speak to those people on their pages whom they call friends. In this lesson, I will define the word friend, show its mechanics and dynamics and then lay a blueprint in building and having real and trustworthy friends.
The word friend is used five different ways. In Genesis 38: 12,20, it is used as companion. In this context, it is a traveler who accompanies you for an expedition. Judah had Hirah- his friend (companion). The second meaning is that of an associate (Judges 20:20). What we generally call acquaintances. This is what many of those on Facebook are called. The third example is the one used by the psalmist (41:9). This is the type of friendship where people hang around you for gain as was the case between David and Absalom (the son). He did not like his father but hung around him to inherit the throne. These are the types of parasite friends. I am sure you know some people like that. There is another type of friendship where you love someone serving as a servant to another. Like God and Abraham (Is 41:8 ). There is another type of friendship whereby the two are mates, bonded together, like partners and do everything (Mt 11:19). This is the type of friendship that when someone is walking or working with his/her friend, he or she does not need to watch over their backs. A clear example was Jonathan and David. They eat, drink and share many other things in common. Another form of friendship is when you meet a stranger, you call them friend, just to make them feel welcome. That is what you see in Mt 20:13, Mt 22:12. A last type of friendship is the one with benefits (Acts 12:20 ). This is the type that you win someone by your side for a particular purpose. It is a self serving friendship. It is like a symbiotic relationship. They know what you want, and you know what they want. How can anyone make trustworthy friendship?
Characteristics of good friendship.
A. Honest and frank Communication (Ex 33:11). Good friends say things face to face. They do not speak behind the backs of their friends. I always told my friend that whenever you hear anything about me, do not give your opinion, wait until you hear my version. That way they do not lure you into making regrettable comments because you were not privy to full disclosure. Good friends do not slander one another and do not gossip each other. They do not store things in their hearts. They speak honestly and frankly to their friends. Good friends give you good advice (Prov 27:9). If a woman is dating a man or vice verse and all that comes out of the mouth of their friend is evil, they should know that they have an enemy in the house. Good friends do not speak falsehood to one another, and they do not flatter each other because underneath their friendship is trust. They have one heart.
C. Feel your plight (Job 6:14, 27;Ps 35:14). Good friends should be able to sympathize with you when calamity strikes than rejoice you are hurting. If you are hurting, your true friends hurt with you. True friends do not dig pits for their friends, talk less of killing them. A good friend is someone you can go to at midnight to ask for help, and if they have, they will give you. They are people you can call at anytime of the day without them reminding you the time of the day. They are people who can accompany you when need be.
I remember a young woman who lost her father, and her boyfriend could not follow her because he had to watch his favorite team play their playoff game. Or the one who goes on vacation when your friend has a criminal court date coming up. A true friend will prevent you from driving while drunk. A true friend will cater for your family while you are faced with a calamity. A true friend does not scam you, for he or she knows that what wearies you, wearies them and that which makes you sad, makes them sad too.
D. Unfailing love (Prov 17:17). A true friend loves you at all times no matter your condition. When a friend is facing adversity, his true friend goes with them (Ruth 1: 16). Anyone with too many friends will come to utter destruction (Prov 18:24). Therefore, people should select one or two best friends to keep. I mean the type of friend that even sticks closer than some brothers or sisters. A good friend will correct you when you are going wrong rather than flatter you. All those people who never tell you the truth are not good friends; they are actually your enemies. Good friends make you to strive towards perfection. A good friend does not betray you, not for 30 pieces of silver. When Ginger White revealed she has had a 13 year affair with Herman Cain yesterday of adultery, he responded that “"It is someone that I know who is an acquaintance that I thought was a friend." What Ginger White did is not what a true friend does; those are traits of acquaintances and these are the Judas Iscariots.
E. Gives You Honor. A real friend honors you; he or she does not put you down. He does not put you down in public and then calls you behind that he was just trying to make some people happy. Or the worst one is for some of the people who refuse to identify themselves with their boyfriends or girlfriends in public for fear of what family or friends will say. Good friends try to bring out the good life in each other. They do not pray for them to die, rather they make them happy, so they can live long. A true friend will never sleep with your husband or wife.
Pointers to consider in Selecting friends.
Therefore, there are a few pointers to guide you select your friends or maintain the friendship. Good friends do not forsake each other. When you do not see a good friend, you search for him. If you do not hear from them, you call them. Unlike many who say someone is their friend, but they do not even know them or know where they live. They do not know even their family or how it is made up. They do not even know where or how their friend's family lives. Do not trust those who are crafty and slanderous because what happens in the house of the crocodile will happen in the house of the alligator. Do not select friends based on their social status. It has been shown that those at the lower stratum of the society are more faithful than those at the top.
However, real friendship should be one of mutualism and not symbiotic or parasitic. A good friend does not like what you hate. For example, if your friend dumps a lady, you cannot date the same lady. If your friend is a Christian, you cannot be dabbling with Satanism. Such a friendship is diametrically opposed and will not last. It is not even a healthy friendship since friends should be of one mind.
Notwithstanding, no matter what type of earthly friends we have, sometime in life, they will fail us, or time and again, they will fail us because they are humans. There is only one Person that will never fail you if you make them your friend. That is God! Through Jesus Christ we have a friend who knows our chagrins and caters for our cares. He is a Friend that will go a mile when others cannot go a foot. If you have never tried walking with God, I urge you to do so, and you will find Him an always present and never failing Friend.
Until then, may God give us true friends.
Prince & PA Hamilton Ayuk.
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“Bonyfish beware because the same net that caught the jawless fish, caught the cartilaginous fish” (Hamilton Ayuk). Beware earthly paradise seekers because there is a serpent in every paradise"(Hamilton Ayuk). Idle people write, idler people read, and idlest people read and whine that idle people are taking their time (Hamilton Ayuk).