God relates to man through friendship. Adam, Abraham, and Moses, were friends of God and Jesus related to his disciples as a friend. Jesus then instructed his followers to relate to one another in friendship.
Yesterday someone asked me what my advice would be to American followers of Jesus concerning friendship. Here are a couple of my thoughts:
1. Concentrate only on one or two friendships.
- Better to have a true friend than many acquaintances.
- Friendships require margin. Too many relationships, too many activities and you will have no friends.
- Jonathan and David’s friendship lasted thirteen years until Jonathan’s death.
- Paul’s friendship with Timothy was for 18 years.
2. Broaden your perspective of friendship.
- Your friend may not be of your generation or from your background.
- Jonathan was 20 years older than David. Paul was 20 years older than Timothy.
- Your deepest friend could be from another culture. Other cultures can teach us about friendship.
3. Invite your friend into your home.
- A European couple that is studying here in the States told me this week that they are surprised at how their American friends have not had them in their homes.
4. Do not build the friendship around an activity.
- Americans have a difficult time making friends apart from an activity. “This is my golfing buddy, my shopping friend, my craft friend, and my gym buddy, etc.” When the activity ends the friendship stops.