How Many Do You Have?
Our possessions are important to us. Through the years, we acquire lots of things which is evidenced by our crowded closets, storage rooms, and garages. Some things are important because we need them frequently (lawn mower, water hose, or tools) but we do not particularly put them in a highly secured place. However we also have those things that we guard to the point we may have a lock box in a bank to secure them for us. The cost and sentimental value of certain items is priceless.
There are people that are far more precious to us than any material possession or expensive item that we own. Our family certainly are the dearest to us and rightfully so. And, along with family, close friends are more precious than gold!
No one has lots of close friends. We have many acquaintances, co-workers, employees, vendors, recreational or entertainment folks, church attenders that you see, parents or professional groups, and then true friends. That group of close friends are those that you have invested lots of time in sharing life together. They know you very well and vice versa. If there should ever be a need, they would be at your side first. In times of celebration, you want them to share that with you. When you have a special joy in the life of a child, an award presentation, a new grandchild, or moment of recognition, you tell those special friends. You know they would be hurt not to be alongside you at those moments, and the same would be true for you with them.
Friends are people with whom you dare to be yourself. Your soul can be completely open with them. They ask you to put on no pretense with them, only to be what you are. They do not want you to be better or worse. When you are with them, you feel as a prisoner feels who has been declared innocent. You do not have to be on your guard. You can say what you think, as long as it is genuinely you.
Friends understand those contradictions in your nature that lead others to misjudge you. With them you breathe freely. You can avow your little vanities and envies and hates and vicious sparks, your meanness and absurdities. And, in opening up to them as friends, you are lost, dissolved on the white ocean of their loyalty. They understand you.
You do not have to be careful. You can abuse them, neglect them, and tolerate them. Best of all, you can keep silent with them. It does not matter. They like you. They are like fire that purges to the bone when they are honest with you. They understand you. You can weep with them, sing with them, laugh with them, and pray with them. Through it all-and underneath it all-they see, know, and love you.
A friend? What is a friend? Just one, I repeat, with whom you dare to be yourself. (Copied).
Jesus spoke to thousands of people, healed multitudes of folks, and taught masses of those that were fascinated with Him. However, he chose twelve men to be his closest followers and selected three of them to be his “best friends”…Peter, James, and John. The marvel is what He said about being a friend…. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. 14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. (John 15:13-16).