Friendship: What Does It Take?

Isn't it interesting that when God made man one of the first thoughts that came from that interaction was fellowship. God desires our fellowship. Thoughts of fellowship, companionship, and love were involved when He created woman, too. He saw that man needed a companion and provided for that need to be met.

We like to think we can do things on our own - go places without others and be content with the Lord. It is a positive trait to know that you do not have to be in the company of others to enjoy life. However, the flip side of this is the fact that God created us for friendships and love relationships. We need others. We need God first, but secondly, our lives benefit from the input and care of those around us.

In her book, Relationships: What It Takes To Be A Friend, Pamela Reeve explains, "We need relationships to help each other do God's will. When our hearts are heavy or anxious and we are struggling to accept God's will, we need someone to pray with us and for us."

If you are looking for an example of true friendship, look to the life of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus could have lived and preached the Gospel without the aid of anyone. Yet He knew the benefit of fellowship and sharing Himself with others. Those who knew Jesus intimately were given an extreme lesson in what it means to be a friend.

First, Jesus accepted people unconditionally.

He did not place grave expectations on those who came to Him. Of course, coming face to face with God's Son always precipitates a change. Christ's love makes this an opportunity to receive eternal hope and forgiveness.

Second, Jesus listened.

He heard the outcries of those who were suffering and took time to meet their needs. He also found glory in the praises of those who worshiped His heavenly Father. One of the truest gifts of friendship is the ability to listen and not feel the crushing need to express your point of view or to tell of your many attributes.

Third, Jesus touched others.

He reached out to those who were in need without thinking of Himself. He was not afraid to be seen with the unlovely, because He knew there was a greater wealth to be gained in their friendship and fellowship than in anything this world had to offer.

Are you in need of a friend? Begin with Jesus. He is your dearest Friend. Once you have expressed your love for Him, ask Him to teach you how to be a true friend to others--one who does not bind or restrict but who spurs others on to good deeds. (Hebrews 10:24)

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