Friendship is important. As our society becomes more fragmented we feel the less need for friendship. We are becoming more isolated, lonely and feeling cut off from everyone. People are ashamed to admit they are lonely and they are too proud to reach out for help. The truth is everyone needs friends, friendship is a necessity. A University of Michigan Sociologist, did a study and discovered that people who had no serious medical problems but lived alone and had few friends, were twice as likely to die as people who had more social connections. In others words, not having friends can shorten your life. Our friendship begins with Jesus and then we branch out to others. True Christianity is to have love one for another. Our duty is to provide encouragement to others. It is surprising how simple words of praise, thanks, or appreciation can give a person the strength and determination they need to continue on their journey in life. Real friends are concerned about more than just shopping, partying or getting together for recreation. Real friends care about your total well-being. They are the ones that will encourage and see you through the difficult times in your life. Just like when David experienced the loneliest and most discouraging moments in his life, Jonathan was there to encourage him as only a friend could. Childhood friendships often become the basis for lifelong relationships. Everyone can be a friend from any race and tribe. The quality of friendship is revealed during times of adversity, even Jonathan stuck with David when King Saul, Jonathan's father had a death warrant on David's head. No matter how busy our lives become, it is essential we make room for our friends. To be there for them. To listen, to encourage and to celebrate achievements or just be a shoulder to lean on. Just as the Lord walks with us and befriends us in our everyday lives, so should we reach out in friendship to others. Especially in the times we are living in today. With loneliness as a growing problem in our society, we need to react by being kind and befriending as many people who need a friend. Those that feel isolated and all alone like no one cares for them. It is our duty to show them love. People need real friends. Let's reflect the qualities of Jesus Christ himself.
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.... Proverbs 17:17
Father we thank you for Jesus who showed us what it's like to be a true friend. We thank you because you call us friends. Help us to be kind and to show love one to another. To encourage and help those who are in need of a friend. To truly model the example that was put before us. Thank you Lord for walking with us and befriending us each day. In this world of confusion and growing problems in our society, we all need friends. Help us Lord to be a friend that loves at all times. In Jesus name, Amen!