A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.Proverbs 17:17
What kind of friend are you?
And no, I’m not asking how well you know someone. I’m not asking how long you’ve known someone either. Neither one of those things really matter, do they?
I’ve seen some people become closer within a couple of months compared to others who have known each other for years. And honestly, there’s always going to be something new we learn about our friends. One can never know someone so completely that there’s nothing else to learn about them.
No, I’m asking you to look at the people in your life. I’m asking you to tell me how you treat them. I want you to really think about it as I ask you again.
What kind of friend are you?
Often times, especially in today’s world, we tend to be fair-weather friends. We stick around when things are going good! We stick around when a friendship with someone benefits us or helps us out. We stick around when the person is fun!
But what happens when things become bumpy? What happens when distress and struggles arise? What happens when we are no longer getting anything out of a friendship? The fun isn’t so apparent? Don’t we end up leaving? Dropping the friendship? Chalking it up as, “friends come and go, that’s life.”
I say that a lot by the way. All too often, actually. I think it’s my way to avoid the hurt and pain that can ensue from losing a good friend. “That’s life.” “There’s a reason the word ‘end’ is in friend.” “Friends aren’t meant to stay in your life forever.” Stupid right? I’m aware that’s faulty thinking on my part.
Now, I’m not saying that all friendships that have ended shouldn’t have. Far from it, we do grow apart at times. Really, in our walk with God we are constantly growing. And at times, God will lead us down different paths of life. But, I supposed this is what I’m asking:
Why did that friendship end?
I am going to be transparent here. I’ve lost a lot of friends due to my inactivity. Because of my mindset that friends come and go, I never saw the point in trying to maintain them. They are just going to end up leaving my life eventually anyway. And that makes me such a horrible friend.
So I’m starting to pay more attention. I’m starting to focus more on those in my life, and those I want to be apart of my life. I’m putting in the effort, because they are a blessing. And really, I’m learning I can’t do it alone. What I mean is this:
The greatest evidence of genuine friendship is loyalty.
This is the type of friend the Bible encourages. In 1 Corinthians 13:7 in states, “It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” Now, I know these verses are describing love. But loyalty is a type of love, and I think verse 7 accurately describes how this type of love looks like.
Let’s not trivialize this, however. These words about love do not easily fit us. Stop and think, 1 Corinthians 13 is actually describing God’s character. These descriptors are not sugary claims that describe us. The Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write a breathtakingly beautiful description of the nature of God. Here’s the good news:
Only God can put his character in us and help us love like this.
The more we become like Christ, the more love we will show to others. The more love we show to others, the more we become that true and loyal friend. That friend who doesn’t leave when things get rough. That friend who loves at all times.
Don’t leave when things get bumpy. Don’t leave when things get rough. Don’t be like me, and become inactive. Don’t lose that good friendship you have. Because it’ll only leave you hurt and regretful.