Friends – Real Friends are the Jewels of Life

How many ”Friends” do you have?

There are friends who destroy each other but a real friend sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24 (NLT)
Real Friends are the Jewels of Life

86/2 is my number what is yours? 86 Facebook ”Friends” that is but only 2 of which that I would consider real friends. Friends are a dime a dozen it seems if they are Facebook “friends”. I looked over my ”friends’ list today out of curiosity to see how my number of ”friends” compared to other people’s number of ”friends”. What I found interesting was the vast number of ”friends” that my “friends” had as compared to their age demographics and careers. But the most interesting thing I found was that my real friends in life the ones that support me when I need it are not necessarily listed on Facebook. Most of my ”friends” had an average of 250 ”friends” which seems like a lot of “friends” to have to check on during the week. My number of 86 seems pathetic if I were measuring my worth according to this number but many people do measure their worth comparing themselves to others especially in our fake world.

The top winner for the most number of ”friends” is a “friend” who is a real go-getter type of people person and doesn’t seem to know a stranger. She has 1521 friends of various acquaintance types from career related, casual, and personal. She is in her forties and is not self-employed but is very involved in organizations which probably explain the large number of ”friends”. I wonder if she checks on all of them each week.

The second runner-up is a ”friend” who is a professional artist who is really using Facebook to make contacts and let people know of upcoming workshops and shows she is doing. She has 1402 ”friends”. I can justify her number better because she is really marketing her business. The third runner-up is an older retired teacher and confirmed bachelor. I found him the most interesting of all with the large number of 1113 ”friends” however I think many are former students who span in age from their 20’s to 50’s. His Facebook “friends” exploded when he retired the second time after forty plus years of teaching. I wonder if he remembers them all.

All these listed ”friends” but what kind of friends are they? It is funny what we are willing to call friends. I admit I am not really a big Facebook fan but know many people who are. I began to see such superficially on the posts after I joined I became disillusioned with the concept and wondered what the point was. I found that I could waste copious amounts of time seeing what all these ”friends” were doing or even their “friends” so it became this mass of people moving through time and I began to wonder what was really important to them. Many ”friends” use the site as either a bragging book of what they or their children are doing, where they were going, or it becomes a self-promotion or marketing venue on a personal level. I don’t mind a business marketing their product but I struggle a bit with people self-promoting. I think we have to be really careful about using the word ”friend” to describe people. Facebook or other social media sites can easily promote loneliness and isolation when all your ”friends’’ seem to be superficial and none really seem to connect with you and your personal struggles or triumphs.

The Bible teaches us to care about one another and if claiming friendship we should be loyal which brings us to what this week’s focus verse is about; friends. Proverbs 18:24;

There are friends who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother. (NLT)

True Loyal ”Friends”

We all want people to accept us and to be our ”friends” but real friends stick close to you, listen, care, correct, and offer help when needed. Real friends are like David and Johnathan as the story unfolds in 1 Samuel 18:1. The two formed an immediate bond to one another and stuck by each other through the hard times of which there were plenty. If you have not read this story or it has been a long time then I urge you to stop and read about this beautiful friendship where a friend gives all he has to support another friend.

I recently read a quote by Oprah Winfrey about friends that I found interesting.

Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.

I decided that the quote needed a little more because what we really want and need is someone who will walk with us on the dusty road when we can’t afford the bus even though their other friends call to them from their limos they continue to walk with us on the road. That is a loyal friend and not just a fair-weather friend.

I know that all my Facebook ”friends” are not real friends that will stick by me when the need arises they are fair-weather friends and probably ones that would ”unfriend’ me if I am leaving my limo behind and have to walk because I do not even have bus fare. They will ride by with their windows up and heads turned with a great sped leaving me in their dusty trail. There is a friend however that we always have even when all our Facebook “friends” have unfriended us and His name is Jesus. He is always a loyal friend and will always help in time of need.

Proverbs 17:17 reminds us that a real true friend is always loyal and helps when we need help. Our real friends may not be able to ”fix” our problems but they are willing to stand with us while we are in the mist of them. Jesus is always there to walk with us even when the limo breaks and we cannot afford the bus fare. He will stand on the dusty road with us as the other limos pass reminding us that He will always be there for us if we let Him because He loves us. Love is the key to loyalty and that is where our real friends will be found; in the love.

Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 1 Corinthians 13:7 (NLT)

There is an old saying that if you want a friend you have to be a friend. Jesus tells us that we are to love one another and if we follow His command we will not only be a friend but we will find friends and in turn the loneliness for all will disappear. Real friends love, listen, correct, and care because they are loyal. We should all strive to be a friend like Jesus and know that when our ”friends” have unfriended us He is still there as just as the old hymn says; What a Friend We have in Jesus.

Have we trials and temptations?   Is there trouble anywhere? We should never be discouraged,   Take it to the Lord in prayer. Can we find a friend so faithful   Who will all our sorrows share? Jesus knows our every weakness,   Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy-laden,   Cumbered with a load of care? Precious Savior, still our refuge””   Take it to the Lord in prayer; Do thy friends despise, forsake thee? Take it to the Lord in prayer; In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,   Thou wilt find a solace there.

As we move into the swing of summer don’t forget to be a friend and remember that you always have a friend in Jesus. There are people all around us who are lonely and looking for a true friend. Show them the love of Christ no matter where the warmer weather may land you even the side of a dusty road.

Have a great Memorial Day and week remembering those who sacrificed for our freedom.

Love in Christ,

E.J.

Post Script;

We often do not know who our real friends are until we are on the dusty road. Thank you to all my real friends who have stood on the dusty road with me, helped me walk to where I needed to go, and continue to guide me with their loyalty.

 

What are your thoughts?

How many ”friends” do you have? How many real friends do you have? Have you ever felt lonely in a crowd of people? Have you sought out others who look like they need a loyal friend? Do you remember that Jesus is your ultimate friend? Join us in discussion.

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