Placing Value on a true friend

The Lord has been reminding me recently just how rare and precious a true friend really is. While there may be many who call themselves friends, there are in reality very few people in our lives who meet the criteria for true friendship.

Only a few years ago, I had my address book full of more than hundred people who I more or less considered friends. Out of those people, I can boldly say only 10 remain. What became of all the others? God only knows, for how long  they rejected numerous overtures to keep in contact and thus drifted away. 

I personally am a true friend that will bend over backwards for her friends. Almost to a fault. I give and give, and expect nothing in return. And most take my kindness as weakness. I only say that to some that have used and abused my giving ways and have been unappreciative for the things that have been done for them. I don't expect the "Thank you" or the praises, but I'd hope things would be appreciated.

I have come to understand that true friendship knows no bound. It is astounding to me that people I have never personally met honestly love me as they do. How can it be that people’s hearts can be knit together as true friends without any contact other than e-mails and letters? This is truly a testimony of the goodness and love of God. The truth is when you come across these few genuine people, you hold onto them for dear life.You recognize them, cling to them, and pray to God that you can be that friend to them as they are to you.

God has taught me that I don’t need 100 friends to be happy in life. I don’t even need 10 friends or even 5 when you get right down to it. If, in this life, I have 2 or 3 people willing to go that extra 100 miles to fight for me, stand with me, help me and love me unconditionally—I ought to be the most grateful person on earth. If I can truly call even ONE person “FRIEND” and mean it, then I have no justification to say I am alone. 

Time has taught me that one of the most treasured values of a good friend is loyalty.  Loyalty is a rare commodity in today’s world, but it’s an absolute requirement in true and abiding friendships. I have probably given up on several friends in the past but I have come to learn that one should never give up on someone else just because their human or give up on someone just because they make mistakes.  Believe it or not – you do the same things.  Maybe not in the same way but we all can offend, we all can let our tongue slip, give that unneeded look or let jealously take over from the real problem.

True friendship is about being humble, confessing and sharing thoughts, problems and feelings.  That is what friendship is really made of.  If someone has confessed to you – reach out and touch them.  Let them see your love and appreciate their vulnerability.  It takes an awful amount of strength and courage to apologize.  Recognize this and respond  appropriately.

“Love is an act of endless forgiveness,
a tender look
which becomes a habit.”
-Peter Ustinov

These thoughts provoked me to strive to be a better friend even though miles, countries and even continents may separate you and a loved one that doesn't mean your love needs to be separated too.