I’ve been thinking about friends. It happens every year as Christmas cards and updating letters are exchanged. With a January birthday, there are all those well wishes on Facebook. This week we will be with friends of over 45 years for dinner (two of us have a birthday on the same day!). Later this week we will be with other friends remembering a friend in a celebration of life service. I am grateful and blessed by people I can call friends.
Because of my life experiences, our friends live all over the country, even across the Atlantic. We don’t see them in person, but they are important connections in our lives. I rarely talk to most of my friends, but that does not diminish the connections. As frustrated as I get with Facebook, I am grateful that through that online platform I have been reconnected with some friends going back to my youth.
Each of these friends is part of a collage of pictures – memories of times in the past and updated snapshots of lives over the years. When our friends go through difficult times, we feel it. When joyous things happen, we smile. When we hear that death has taken a friend, we mourn. The ties of friendship are strong and lasting. I think of friendship as an expanded family.
I selected some passages from the Bible that speak to friendship. As you read the passages, think about the friends in your life, name them, and give thanks.
Friends encourage us to our highest good. 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Friends forgive each other and help each other in difficulties. Colossians 3:13; Ecclesiastes 4:10
Friends do not gossip, or listen to gossip, allowing it to hurt the friendship. Proverbs 16:28
Friends stick around even when things get difficult, being reliable. Proverbs 18:24
Friends give pleasant, sincere advice, seeking our highest good. Proverbs 27:9; Proverbs 12:26