Friends travel together through life…no matter the transportation, D.S. ©
I do not know about you but talking about my life, I have to say that friends are so important. When still an atheist, friends were the number one in my life. Since I became a Christian, God is number one and very, very close my friends follow.
I can’t imagine how my life would have been if not with my friends. I always try to respect them and stay loyal to them. True friends remain passionate for each other even when they have not seen each other for long time. When they meet… is like no time passed by!
What friendship means? Is it an important relationship in our life? Can we exist without friendship? What is the definition of friendship?
Searching back in time we can locate the first definition of friendship through the writings of wise ancient Greek philosophers (philosopher = a word that means “friend of wisdom”. Philia means friendship in Greek, Sophia is wisdom = do the maths!)
Checking in Wikipedia under Aristotle & Philia, we read:
“Aristotle gives examples of Philia including:
“young lovers (1156b2), lifelong friends (1156b12), cities with one another (1157a26), political or business contacts (1158a28), parents and children (1158b20), fellow-voyagers and fellow-soldiers (1159b28), members of the same religious society (1160a19), or of the same tribe (1161b14), a cobbler and the person who buys from him (1163b35).”
In his Rhetoric, Aristotle defines the activity involved in Philia as:
“Wanting for someone what one thinks good, for his sake and not for one’s own, and being inclined, so far as one can, to do such things for him” (1380b36–1381a2)”
And when we look at Friendship, we read:
“In recent times, it is postulated that modern American friendships have lost the force and importance they had in antiquity. C.S.Lewis for example, in his The four Loves writes:
To the Ancients, Friendship seemed the happiest and most fully human of all loves; the crown of life and the school of virtue. The modern world, in comparison, ignores it. We admit of course that besides a wife and family a man needs a few ‘friends’. But the very tone of the admission, and the sort of acquaintances which those who make it would describe as ‘friendships’, show clearly that what they are talking about has very little to do with that Philía which Aristotle classified among the virtues …”
Apologies if I overwhelmed you with too much information. It was necessary, as it seems that in our days everybody searches for a friend but we have forgotten what friendship is and how it is applied – at least, in some cultures and societies.
Friendship takes two! It is like tango: it takes two to tango! As any other relationship, it does take two committed people, it does take effort, it does take communication and mostly, it does take LOVE!
Who taught us to be friends? Nobody! We learnt on the way and so many times, we got it wrong!
Aristotle told us what Friendship is. He gave us its definition. The very true and interesting observation is that friendship is not a limited love. It is an Unconditional Love. It is attached to lovers, nations, towns, colleagues, neighbours, churches, mosques, synagogues, tribes and clans. Friendship exists within other relationships. There is friendship between couples (not only lovers or parents), between co-workers, between believers. Any other kind of Love includes the meaning of Friendship.
Though, it is the Lord who comes to teach us what friendship is, through that amazing book called Bible – the written word of God:
What can we learn?
- To be called friend IS IMPORTANT;
“Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend.”
ü We share important things, small and big with friends;
“…no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”
- Friends are not only important, they are a necessity in life;
“If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!”
- A true friend is a friend forever, especially through the difficult times. A true friend is more important than blood or just a fellow believer;
“A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”
- A friend acts in a certain way, as described below;
“A friend loves at all times…”
“Greater love has no one than this that he lay down his life for his friends.”
The last scripture speaks tons! That’s how Jesus proved that He is our friend: He gave His life for us.
As we meditate on the above, let’s think – be honest – whether we have truly loved our friends, whether we have appreciated them and let them know that we have. (Keep remembering that friendship needs feeding, independently of its length in time.)
Let’s remind our self that the closest and greater friend we have is Jesus. Do we truly appreciate Him? Do/will/have we really give (n) our life for our Friend?
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