The Friend RecipeAuthor: Byron Pulsifer, © 2012
A lot has been written over the years about various components of what constitutes a friend. The literature is full of stories that recount various scenarios that demonstrate what it is to be a friend. But, what defines a friend for you? I am sure that you may have your own friends and therefore your own definition of what makes a friend. How many definitions are there?
One definition is that a friend is someone who you enjoy because of his or her common traits similar to your own. These traits mean that you can find common ground to talk about or share as in a certain type of hobby or sport or reading club. Your relationship with these type of friends center around one interest usually.
There are also those people we call friends at our place of work. These are colleagues that we like to talk to during our breaks, or socialize during work hours with a little friendly banter, or those we prefer to go to lunch with. These kinds of friends we very seldom see out of the workplace except during office or company functions. They are people who give us support in our working environment.
Then, there are friends who you may have met on a vacation where you ended up spending considerable time with doing various activities whether that was at a resort, or on board a cruise ship. These are the kind of friends that you promised to stay in touch with after the vacation was over, and may have received a couple of emails or phone calls from you. But, these are the type of friends that are soon forgotten as we go about our life, back in our normal routines. We may get the occasional call, or that Christmas card, but we rarely see these people on a regular basis.
No Matter What
Then, there is a friend and a companion who is always there for you no matter where you are, who you are, or what happens in your life. These happenings can be the most severe there is to confront and deal with but this friend and total companion never forsakes you, never leaves when times are really tough, or casts you off to go it alone. This friend you will find in Jesus - a friend and companion who always is there no matter the time or circumstance. This is a friend you can speak to openly and honestly. A friend who gives you relief through faith; a friend who forgives graciously without prejudice. Remember the old hymn, "What A Friend We Have In Jesus", its words hold true today. To quote Carey Nieuwhof "By the time kids are five I want them to know three things - God made me. God loves me. Jesus wants to be my friend forever." Some of us live the majority of our life never fully realizing or trusting that God is in fact our friend and is always there for us.
When earthly friends may be tested or leave you or are unwilling or unable to respond to your concerns, God is there with you forever.
There Is More To Gain
In the end, there is more to gain by being a friend and having a good friend than not having or being one yourself. To be a friend to someone who is also one to you is a very flowing two-way street. The street can only work when the lights are green both ways. Friendships are truly a gift from God to help us and be with us in life.
Inspirational Quotes for Reflection:
"Friends are people you can count on to lend a hand, help by simply sitting and providing a empathetic or sympathetic ear, who demonstrate through both action and words that they are around for the long haul." Catherine Pulsifer
"Over the years since, I often recall these special friends that are no longer here and wish that I could have spent more time with them. I often ask myself if I valued their friendship enough, did I really let them know how much they were part of my life? Byron Pulsifer
"The Miracle of Friendship - There is a miracle called friendship that dwells within the heart and you don't know how it happens or when it gets to start. . . But the happiness it brings you always gives a special lift, and you realize that friendship. . . is God's most precious gift!" Author Unknown
"Most of us have business associates, casual acquaintances, and occasional companions. Real friends, on the other hand, are not so easy to acquire. Friendship rests upon more than accidental relationships or even association in a common task. Its roots lie in the spiritual realm." Al Bryant
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