Life would be dire without a few good friends. I’ve known several people who chose to live alone and isolated, and it produced an oppressive atmosphere around them, magnified worries, and propped up narrow-minded views. But when people have friends, everything improves.
The woman of Luke 15:8-10, who lost an expensive coin, called her friends together to rejoice with her when it was found. Friendship keeps life a little lighter and easier to bear when troubles overshadow us.
Jesus said, “Greater love has no one that this, that one lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). Of course, Jesus was speaking about his upcoming death on the cross, but we can also learn that friends care about you, watch your back, and extend loyalty and sacrifice. Life is a lot easier when friends watch out for you.
The apostle John sent a message to a threatened church and said, “Peace be to you. The friends greet you. Greet the friends by name” (3 John 15). Christians are friends who bring emotional health to others.
The writer of Proverbs said, “Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another” (Prov.27:17). The author, W.J. Deane said of this verse, “Men’s thoughts are stimulated and sharpened by conversation. Friendship broadens a man’s views. He is able to see how other men think and feel. Thus, he is lifted out of the narrowness of his own single vision. Such breadth gives strength when it is accompanied by an earnest love of truth and right. One good, true friend is more helpful than a score of mere acquaintances. Hence the supreme importance of cultivating friendship with the wise and good.”
The helpful effect of good associates, and the influence we have on each other is evident in all of these verses from the Bible.
Christians work hard to make friends with all kinds of people. We’re open to it. It’s part of our mission. Will you accept our friendship?
– Tim Johnson