I only have one sibling, a brother, and there are 8 years between us. I remember when we were kids, he would hang around me and my friends, and if I’m brutally honest, I felt he was a bit annoying. Many years later, nothing has changed… haha. I’m kidding. As I write this article, I’m thinking about sending it to him, just to read this bit. Our relationship is different now. I’d like to think we are more like friends.
An ancient proverb goes like this: Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses. Proverbs 27:6 Wounds of a friend? What sort of friend would hurt you? What is the definition of a friend? We all have so many on facebook now. It’s an interesting thought. I wonder if social media has altered our definition of what a friend is.
How many of the people in your life are friends out of convenience? The guy who sits next to you at work, the person you hardly knew in high school who now likes your facebook posts, your neighbours who wave as you pull out of the driveway. If your proximity didn’t bring you together would you still interact? Do you call them friends?
Have you ever heard that saying: the truth hurts? Well I want to suggest one ingredient to the definition of a friend is one who can tell you the truth, and yes, sometimes that can hurt. One who gets close enough to see the real you and has the confidence to be real.
In most western countries we’ve become a bit touchy, an island to ourselves ready to be offended. A real friend gets past all that and has the confidence to tell you your fly is down. We all have blind spots and there are some things we need to know! Now, no one likes a critic – the difference is a friend really cares about you, loves you even.
Jesus had much to say that was touchy, even tough – but he said it because He cares, more than that, loves. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:13 Which he did. I heard this statement the other day: The person of Christ is the only friend to all humanity. Perfect Truth and Perfect Love – that’s a friend you can trust.