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The Value of Friendship


Some people collect friends like they collect possessions. The popular American pastime of name dropping is common, but most of these are merely acquaintances. Since real friendships are relationships, they tend to be few and require time and energy to maintain. We have school friends, church friends, kid friends, work friends, etc., but when it comes to close friends, they are rare and important. So, what does a close friend look like? From his Book Life Promises for Leaders, Zig Ziglar describes a true friend.


Joe had seen his comfortable, stable, happy life crumble over the last few months. Demands of his in-laws created tensions with his wife, and the tension continued to escalate. He noticed that his circle of friends gradually diminished. It seemed that few of them wanted to hang around with somebody who wasn’t much fun anymore.


“I’ve never felt so lonely in my life,” he reported later. “I thought they’d all leave but Phil stayed. When I was at my worst, he didn’t walk away. You have no idea what that meant and still means to me.”


All significant relationships are tested by disputes and difficulties. It’s easy to walk away when friends no longer give as much as they take, but a true friend moves toward someone who is hurting. He or she provides stability when life is out of control and a listening ear when no one else wants to understand. A true friend doesn’t jump in to fix problems. He or she offers advice sparingly.


We all want friends like this. To have a friend who cares about us during difficult times, we need to be this kind of friend.



Questions

In your life, who has been this kind of friend?

Who needs you to be this kind of friend today? What will you do to support?



Take a look

Proverbs 17:17

Ephesians 4:32

Proverbs 27:10



—Mike