What is a friend? How do you know when someone is a friend? Yes, I am asking that question and hoping to answer the question… it’s definitely going to be a tough one.
Friends are people who hang out, who talk about life, who have similar likes and dislikes, who have similar beliefs about life and religion, who like each other’s company and who laugh together. Is that simple enough?
There are different levels of friendship. They range from mere acquaintances to “til death do us part”. So, on that mindset, how do we define friendship? I think friendship is one of those English words that tends to have too many meanings. In fact, just like the word love, since there are many varying levels of friendship, there should be different words to denote the level of friendship we are pursuing.
That being said, there are many different kinds of friendship. I think, in order to have a well rounded life, we should have friends in all levels. What??? Say there are four levels of friendship. I think we should have at least one friend in each of the four levels of friendship. This way all of our emotional needs are being met. You know what I mean? There are those friends you just want to go shopping with, but maybe there’s not a close connection, but you LOVE shopping with them. Then there are those friends that you call when you have a crisis… and that friend is there no matter what. and then there are those friends that you might see at church functions and you talk there, but there’s not really any interaction outside of that. Each of these friendships play a different role in your life to fulfill a need.
Being a friend could be so much more though. I had a dear friend relay something very profound to me recently. She told me that maybe I was comfortable in the place I had allowed myself to be in and I wasn’t open to friends because of that. In other words, because of past hurts from friends, I had closed myself off to true intimate friendships without even realizing it.
Friendship is a form of love. When you are a friend, a true friend, you are loving someone unconditionally, even! You are there for them when they need you… isn’t that how GOD is with us? JESUS is our friend, or wants to be… we just have to open up to HIM. Our heart must be available to a friend in order for it to be a true friendship.
I want to have close friends as I am sure many of you do. We have to be willing to risk being hurt. That is the only way to find true friends, by sharing your heart. And, the one that is true will protect your heart. So take a chance on a friend today… make it count. Let them see you heart and ask them for theirs… they might be just as afraid to share as you are. Show them love and be a friend…