|by Henry T. Blackaby
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Where have true, God-purposed “friends” gone, in this day of ours?
Most of us start out seeking godly, true friends to walk with us over the stormy times, the pressured times and even our failures. But somewhere in our life experiences “true friends” seem harder and harder to find –- and keep! Circumstances change and real, or perceived, pressures on our friends lead them to think of their own best interests instead of ours. They then tend to leave us alone, taking sides with others and protecting themselves, becoming afraid to keep deeply identifying with us.
God, revealed in his Word, set the standard for friendship. I must know what God intended and choose to develop my character so I can be a true friend to others who seek me out to be their friend. There is always a cost involved in friendship. But God intends for one to be a friend “at all times.” And a friend is truly “born for adversity.” Jesus would say to those who said they wanted to be His friend: “Count the cost ahead of time” (Luke 14:25-33). A friend identifies fully with another, at all times. So you must choose carefully those you would befriend! To honor God, you must remain a friend.
In the Bible, friendship is clearly seen. David had Jonathan as a friend. Jeremiah had Baruch. Moses had Joshua. All were true friends through good times and evil times. Often the cost of being a friend threatened their very life, but they remained true to each other.
In our day most are seeking one true friend. It has been said if you can have one true friend in your lifetime you will be most blessed. It is time for each of us to re-think friendship, and set our hearts to be a true friend to others. In Paul’s life, they are called “companions” -– deeply involved and carrying the burdens of Paul, even into prison. Barnabas was Paul’s first true friend given to him by God.
Remember what Jesus said, in terms of a ‘friend’: “How you receive the one I send you, you are receiving me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me” (John 13:20).
In the workplace you need a friend, and you need to be a friend!