Through the years, I have seen multitudes of children, as well as adults, who do not have, and do not know how to acquire or keep friends.
Teachers encourage their students on a regular basis by quoting Andrew Carnegie, “Anything worth having is worth working for.”
We do not have friends simply because we exist. Some of us do not realize we have to work at friendship, even though our life manual, the Bible, instructs us very well on the habits of friendly people. For instance, Proverbs 18:1 (MSG) warns, Loners who care only for themselves spit on the common good. The NIV rephrases that same idea, An unfriendly person pursues selfish ends and against all sound judgment starts quarrels. Both versions mean we have to care about others and put others first (sometimes) to be a friend.
Proverbs 17:17 (NIV) uplifts, A friend loves at all times… Even when we are in the wrong, we need a friend to chastise, instruct, and help us to be in the right. We don’t wish to be left alone just because we did something wrong. This sentiment goes hand in hand with Ecclesiates 4:10 (NIV) If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. We all need that friend who will love us and stick by us no matter what.
Of course, the King James Version of Proverbs 18:24 is the most recognized verse about
friendship, and I think it sums the situation up quite succinctly, A man that hath friends
must shew himself friendly. You can’t cry and moan about no one coming to your rescue,
if you never rescue anyone. You can’t whine about no one ever encouraging you, when you
never motivate anyone. You can’t pout about always being alone, if you never say yes to
any invitations. You know, people will get tired of asking. So, to have friends, be friendly.
Now, knowing how to pick good friends is important. 1 Corinthians 15:33 (NIV) instructs, Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character. You may think you can be around morally ambiguous persons on a constant basis because it won’t affect you, but God knows differently. We are affected by that which we are around constantly.
Proverbs 18:24 (NIV) cautions, One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin… In other words, if I surround myself with friends who only want me around when I’m flush with cash and
able to supply their needs, I will soon be wrecked and broke, because they will only use me and
abandon me when I am the one in need.
Remember this: If you worry because you don’t have many friends cling to Proverbs 18:24 (ESV)
A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Even if you do not have many earthly friends, you have a heavenly friend who you can depend on
24-7-365, who will love you no matter what, who will always lift you up, who will always put you
first. That friend is Jesus.
That is one perspective. What's yours?