Summary: Friendship is a deeper relationship than the world can offer, or wants to offer. Yet, that is what Jesus offers us. He offers to become our friend.

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What are Friends for?

Chapter Four

The Wounded Friend

Isaiah 53:3 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

A good bus driver is one that follows the traffic laws, looks to the comfort of his passengers, and preferably has had no accidents. A good painter is one that is fast, uses good quality paint and is cautious of drips. If we can make job descriptions sound so simple and easy to recite, then what’s a good friend? Well, it shouldn’t be, but, a lot of times it sometimes depends upon a lot of different things. Take age for instance. If you were to go up to a youngster in the first grade and ask that question you might get something like this: a good friend is someone that doesn’t hit me, doesn’t cut in line and likes the same things I do. Or what about someone in high school? A good friend is someone that remembers my birthday, helps me with my homework (especially if I forgot to do mine), and likes the same things I do. Now, let’s ask the college person: a good friend is there to talk with me when I have problems, or to hang out with, or thinks like I do.

A common misconception that most people have is that friendship is all about me, though they would never dream of saying it that way. Many times people of all ages have this stereotypical picture of friendship: it’s all about me. People will tell you many reasons behind that picture but none of those reasons are without a selfish tint.

Another common misconception that most people have is that friendship shouldn’t take any effort to maintain. Their idea is that if the person wants to be their friend then that person needs to take the proper steps to maintain that relationship. But, is that really a relationship? Is that really what a true friend is? Or, is that a groupie?

Lasting relationships take time and active participation. Lasting relationships take patience and communication. Lasting relationships involve emotions and a kindred spirit.

What is a kindred spirit? It means you are drawn to another person through the Holy Spirit for mutual edification, friendship, and the glory of God!

Now you may argue that a kindred spirit is similar to liking what I like. No, that’s a physical emotion. Let me give you an example. I have a very good friend. Probably the closest person I have on this earth other than my wonderful wife and friend. He likes outdoor stuff, like hiking, camping, etc., while I can barely tolerate it. I like basketball, volleyball, etc., while he can barely tolerate it. He is very outgoing, while I’m not. He likes physical science and nature, I like computers and cooking. We really don’t have a lot in common and it takes a lot of communication to find out exactly what we want to do. But, that communication is the fun part. And, because we are kindred spirits, drawn together by the Holy Spirit, we work at it until we find something we want to do. Relationships take time, but the time is well worth it.

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