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An observer of the modern scene recently opined that people today don't have many friends; some have none. In the hectic pace of modern life, it seems that many do not take the time or have the opportunity to develop lasting friendships.
For all of us, as life progresses and the years roll by, the friendships that we do have, change. Interests that once flourished diminish. People move away to pursue careers or to get away from problems and to try to start afresh in some new location. Often, churches split, causing heartache and pain for those who were once close friends, who find themselves on opposite sides of a dispute on doctrinal issues or in matters of loyalty.
Companies, even whole industries, restructure, disrupting the lives of employees at all levels. Employees are "downsized" to make it possible for the firm to survive or to improve profitability. When this happens, long term, highly valued business friendships evaporate, leaving those affected feeling empty and abandoned.
Often, families break up and the familial relationships that can be so comfortable and rewarding are shattered, deeply affecting those involved. After being hurt or disillusioned by such occurrences, some family members withdraw and are reluctant to establish new friendships for fear of being hurt yet once again.
The effect of not having neighborhood schools, of long commutes that soak up time, of two income families that leave little time for family or friends, has taken its toll on close friendships that once flourished. The many advances in communication and information technology are wonderful tools, yet they do encroach upon time once spent in conversations and personal contact.
The book of Proverbs has much to say about the importance of friends and how to have good friends. For example: "A man who has friends must himself be friendly" (Proverbs 18:24). We have to do our part to attract good friends.
A friend can be counted upon: "A friend loves at all times and a brother is born for adversity" (Proverbs 17:17). A true friend will tell you what you need to hear, even if it is unpleasant; "Faithful are the wounds of a friend" (Proverbs 27:6).
It's important that we are loyal to our friends: "Do not forsake your own friend or your father's friend" (Proverbs 27:10).
So, you see there is much we can do to build lasting friendship in this life by applying godly principles found in the Bible.
Scripture also reveals that there is a friend that can always be counted upon, now and for all time. John 15:14-15 gives the words of Jesus: "You are my friends if you do what ever I command you. 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 I heard from my father I have made known to you."
A few years ago, there was a great song written by Roger Miller entitled "Old Friends." One line from the song was,
"Old Friends … Lord, when all my work is done
Bless my life, grant me one
old friend … Just one old friend."
Hopefully, you will make many good friends in this life, but if you only make one, make it a friendship that will transcend all adversity, even death. Make friends with the soon-coming King of kings and Lord of all, Jesus Christ.
To learn more about how to do as He commanded and to establish your friendship with the Messiah, request our booklet, What Is a True Christian? It is totally free of charge and you can order it at this link .
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