A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24 (NKJV)
Friends sticking together. Here Pooh and friends are out for a summer row in the boat. Never mind that they’re going to go around in circles because Tigger has only one oar in. Sooner or later Pooh, or more likely Rabbit, will say, “Um. Excuse me, Tigger, but wouldn’t you like to put this oar in as well?” And away they’ll go.
Togetherness is so enjoyable for the friends from the Hundred Acre Woods that even Eeyore looks like he just might enjoy himself, if only a little.
Friendship matters a great deal in this life. God made us for relationship. He made Adam and Eve to be together. A bad apple turned that sour, but God knew that would happen, and he made us for relationship with him. In fact, Jesus calls us “friends.”
Now, I don’t know what your experience has been with friendship, but mine has been that relationships with friends, human ones, are not based on unconditional love. Friendship is based on how we treat each other: the words of our mouth, our actions.
A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold In settings of silver. Proverbs 25:11 (NKJV)
What a beautiful image of conversation between friends.
But would I lay down my life for my friends?
Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. John 15:13 (NKJV)
I hesitate to answer, and in that hesitation I feel a mixture of emotions: shame, fear, withdrawal…hope. The hope is that I don’t think I could do it without God’s help. It’s just not in me. I’m too pathetically human. If it ever comes to laying down my life for friends, either literally or figuratively, I’ll have to rely on my friendship with Jesus to get me through.
There’s a passage in the Bible about the disciples in a boat with Jesus (Matthew 8:23-27). I picture Jesus in the stern of the boat with Pooh and friends, taking a nap, but with one eye open, watching and protecting them.
By the grace of God we have friends. I thank God for my friends.