Summary: More often than not our basis on whether or not a person is a ‘good friend’ is the contemplation of inevitable ensuing requirements that may be placed on us.

What are friends for?

(Romans 5:7) For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.

More often than not our basis on whether or not a person is a ‘good friend’ is the contemplation of inevitable ensuing requirements that may be placed on us. As an example, money. If there would be any second-thought in furnishing someone that we call a friend with money, then the thought that they were a true friend would soon disappear in the contemplation and the subsequent unenthusiastic response they would receive. But, say, as an example, money. If there were no second-thoughts and to simply hand over a sizeable amount without any care or thought of reimbursement would in fact lean me in the direction of calling that person a true friend. It’s not confusing in the least. For if I admire someone as much as to call them a friend, then would I cancel that friendship over something so trifling as money or other possessions? Yet, is the feeling reciprocal? You would, I think, know it in your heart, wouldn’t you?

What are friends, and what are they to me that I would allow them to extravagantly consume my life’s precious free moments [not that it is an important life to begin with]? It is difficult to describe as friends don’t come with a price tag affixed to their ear, for they are indeed priceless. Friends don’t come with a ‘how to handle’ tag sewn into their soul. Yet, I’ve taken and thrown caution to the friend and laid out some prerequisites, and not casually either, but only with sincere deliberation of those my life has been privileged to be influenced.

Mind that these are things that are never mentioned with the concerned over the warmth of the open hearth, or the slow walk in the park. These are things that not even the casual leaning against a fencepost, or the comfort of the barber’s chair will solicit. These are things that are felt so deeply that they bring to the surface of the soul only a slight ripple of agreement, only a slight nod of knowing acquiescence.

Someone for me to talk to

Is it reciprocal? I might ask, and if I had to ask then yet again I would remind myself that to begin the asking begins the doubting. It is a knowing without the asking. It is an understanding without ever the benefit of the learning.

A true friend knows how to listen, and at the appropriate time will interject a thought, or a question, or any of a hundred other ‘active listening’ acknowledgements. Yes, a true friend is someone that sits across from me, patiently listening. A true friend is there for me to talk to, to tell my troubles to without fear of a pointing or accusing finger, or even the fear of starting a gossip ‘gulley-washer.’

Nothing is too silly or too stupid when talking with a true friend, is there? Nah! A true friend is someone to talk to, never mind the subject. And, I know that we are true friends because yes, it is reciprocal.

Someone to counsel me

What are friends for? The true friend is there to help you and provide counsel to you. For, who knows you better than a true friend? A true friend also will not hesitate to praise you at your pinnacle or to reprove you for something ill said. The Bible gives us an excellent vision of that in Proverbs:

(Proverbs 27:6) Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.

Someone to help me, when I’m sick or afraid

I would not want to contract anything and undergo a lengthy stay in any ‘care’ facility without a true friend. Suffice it to say I’ve seen an eyeful of those that ‘confined’ themselves to the hospital because there was no one to attend to them outside of hospital staff. They were indeed ‘confined’ in more ways than one. No one to help their wheelchair to follow the warmth of the sun. No one to draw the curtains or adjust the pillow. A sad picture of a sad state of being.

A true friend will know when to help. A true friend will feel your discomfort and help you to follow the warmth of the sun, or even to block it out entirely with the curtains. Yes, a true friend will know and accommodate.

A true friend will know and accommodate, and lovingly endeavor to alleviate your overwhelming fears before they worsen. Could you ever dream of not having a friend to know and assail your fears before they impale you?

Someone to laugh with me, or, cry with me

Good friends are what giggles are made for. Giggles are when you begin to laugh simply because you are happy that the other person is laughing. To have someone to laugh with breathes life into laughter. Yes, you are right, human beings can laugh when they are alone, but, it defies the best reason for laughter: sharing amusement with another, preferably a close friend.

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