All of us have a need for relationship with others. Friendship is one of the most important things for our emotional and social development. However, there are many people who simply don’t have friends. They may have acquaintances or associates but not really people who are truly there for them when the road of life gets steep.
I am fortunate to have a few friends who I know would walk on water for me if the situation required it. Although our lives are such that we may not talk every day now, there is still a very real sense in which we can pick up the phone at any point and know without a doubt that there will be a kind, caring, and invested person on the other end of the line.
As I meet with people on a regular basis through the context of church and counseling, I am burdened by the amazing lack of true friendships that many in our society have. Life is so busy in the booming Dallas area, as is the case in so many parts of the country. However, even in rural America it seems that people are becoming more and more disconnected from one another despite the many seemingly helpful advances in technology. Just because we have become more wired does not necessarily mean we have become more connected. The distinction is significant.
In a society marked by late works hours, closed garage doors, and privacy fences, I fear that we have perhaps insulated ourselves from one of the most powerful elements of life — friendship. Of course, having friendships and attachments to others is not enough. We must have the right kinds of friendships that help us up rather than pull us down.
Listen to these words from Scripture:
Iron sharpens iron,
So one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17)
A friend loves at all times,
And a brother is born for adversity. (Proverbs 17:17)
The quality of our friendships is important. It has been said that a friend is someone who will help you move — and a real friend is someone who will help you move a body. Now, I’m not sure I would advocate that, but you get the idea.
Friends not only accept us, but they also enhance us, bringing out positive qualities and serving to refine us. They provide avenues for love, accountability, encouragement, and support. Who among us doesn’t need those things?
I have often heard that a person who can make it through life and count five good friends is truly blessed. After all, we can’t afford to invest the time and energy into a great number of people. But having a few close people to be our friends, confidants, and comrades is a blessing of inestimable worth.
Maybe today is a good day to evaluate your own friendships. Who do you call a friend? Who could you call at 3:00 a.m. without a second thought, should a need arise? Are you more concerned with having friends — or with being a friend? These are just a few questions that should get you going.
Perhaps you are surrounded by people but feeling more alone than ever before. You don’t have to go through life like that. Make today a time to evaluate the reasons for your situation — and to do something different. We must be proactive in this area. . . or the passage of time will find us empty and alone.
Don’t let that be true for you.