True friendship brings fidelity. It is written in the Bible, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” (Proverbs 17:17)(NASB) Who wouldn’t want to have such friends who pick you up and don’t knock you down? Many people choose friends based on circumstances just to get temporary benefits.
A clear example is the prodigal son of Holy Scripture. When he asked for his share of the inheritance from his father, after receiving it, he had fun with so-called occasional friends as long as he had money. After the material resources ran out, his friends disappeared. So, inappropriate friendship brings many regrets in life. In this immoral and selfish world, it is becoming increasingly difficult to make true friends and keep them. Some people sacrifice their own moral values for the sake of friends, others sacrifice friends for the sake of too high standards, or for selfish personal interests!
Friendship in the Bible is that bond of love between two people, based on a common faith, common goals, and concerns, in which each sacrifices for the other. It is true that there are false friends and sincere and true friends. In true friendships there is sincere love that seeks the benefit of the other; in false friendships one seeks selfish personal gain, masked by a manipulative kindness or “love!”
But if he only asks, only he unloads his feelings and only he receives, without giving anything, then that cannot be called friendship. Friendship is mutual devotion, it is mutual service, mutual help, exchange of gifts made unconditionally. Perhaps the most beautiful model of friendship described in the pages of the Holy Scriptures is that between Jonathan and David. This friendship began when young David, with a staff and a slingshot, went up against Goliath and killed him. “Since then, Jonathan’s soul clung to David’s soul, and Jonathan loved him like the soul in him.” On that day, they “made a covenant before the Lord,” and Jonathan gave David his cloak, clothes, and weapons. So one step in a true friendship is to have a closeness of soul, not material interests as it is done nowadays. Jonathan admired David for his bravery, for his way of being, simple and courageous, and for his faith in God.
Then there is no friendship that is not tested. If friendship endures even hard trials, this is true friendship. Only a friendship in which friends strengthen their faith in God remains unshakable, for it is the Lord who binds them. No doubt a true friend will always look for your good, even when you fail. And in this context, the injuries sustained by a friend prove his faithfulness. Even though it doesn’t feel good at the moment, because he’s a friend of mine, he wants me to correct myself. By closing his eyes to my mistakes, in fact he would not help me at all to correct myself.
The Bible urges us to make friends with the One who, once we come to Him, never leaves us, and whose arms are always open. “I no longer call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for I have made known to you everything I have heard from my Father.” These are the words of the Lord Jesus, who gives us his pure and selfless friendship.
For this reason, dear readers, choose friends from those who love the Lord and who have pure hearts. And in friendship do not be selfish, the purpose of our life should not be to make a good impression on others. Let us be humble, having a better opinion of others than of ourselves — not to always think only about my own affairs, but to be interested in others and what they do. That’s how a friendship behaves. May God help us to make pure and lifelong friendships.
Translated by Didina Vicliuc