“The man of many friends [a friend of all the world] will prove himself a bad friend, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” – Proverbs 18:24 (AMP)
Yesterday, a friend of mine was ordained and officially instituted as the reverend of a church. I cannot but write about such a man as he for he truly embodies this scripture to me. Friends of this caliber, of this edge, are not easy to find, and are rarer still by the day as our society fragments more and more.
Such friendship relies heavily on time shared together, time that lets you know that person in the same way we come to know God. We must come to a nearness with others, putting aside ourselves to look past our own eyes and instead at them. Friendship is the forgetting — and yet at the same time, finding — of oneself.
I am generally mum about such things except with those I am close with, but I don’t have a great relationship with my family. Yet, in the midst of this want, God has provided, as He will do with those who follow Him, with a brother that I may call ‘friend’ as well. We need that depth, the depth of family, particularly if our family does not know and love God as we do.
We cannot under-esteem the importance of friendship in our walk with Christ.
Here, I must pause to consider what friendship, true friendship is, and is not for that matter. Friendship must be honest and selfless; it is not the ‘yes man’ to which too many have become accustomed. True friendship is telling a friend they are being stupid when they need to hear it but don’t want to. True friendship does not consist of seeking to please your friend but in seeking the best for them, whether they know what that is or not.
It is to this end that we find need of such friendship. If we are to go astray, to walk away from the road of God and let our eyes rest on earthly things, we need such a friend who may tell us that we have gone blind. And in our blindness, they may lead us back to the road until our sight has been regained.
Yet, this is incomplete. Clangs of sheer utilitarianism resound if friendship were only such a thing. It is a nearness, the nearness I wrote of long ago. It is the harmonic tones of a perfect fourth and fifth. It is the resonance of one soul to another in matters of the heart.
Friendship is shared moments of joy and sorrow, one in memory, shared by two hearts.
In any case, I am rambling now. To my friend whom I will leave nameless here, for he is as humble as they come, congratulations. You will change lives just the same as you did when we worked together, and know all the more that I count myself more blessed than most for being able to call you brother and friend.