When asked how many friends we have, a person might refer to his Facebook page number, or he might be more realistic and give a number of those he actually speaks with on a weekly basis. What most people identify as a friend is actually more of an acquaintance.
According to a report, “Researchers have revealed that we make nearly 400 friendships in a lifetime - but maintain only a handful. We form an average of 396 personal relationships but only 33, one in 12, will stand the test of time. And only one in five of these - just half a dozen people - is considered a close friend while the rest are 'social friendships’."
I want to ask you to add this to your new year’s resolution for 2018: find two real good friends. In order to find these companions we will need to identify the characteristics of a good friend. Look at what the Bible says about the character of a friend:
“There are ‘friends’ who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.” - Proverbs 18:24 NLT
I discovered a song that speaks to this that I really like. Here are the words:
I got a pretty good friend
Who' seen me at my worse
He can't tell if I'm a blessing
Or a curse
But he always shows up
When the chips are down
That' the kind of stuff
I like to be around
Stuff that works, stuff that holds up
The kind of stuff you don' hang on the wall
Stuff that' real, stuff you feel
The kind of stuff you reach for when you fall
– "Stuff That Works," Guy Clark
The song has other great verses, but I think you get the picture here. I want a friendship that is real. I want to do life with people that love God and are genuine. I want friends that have the stuff that works!
I have an old high school coach that randomly ran into me and my family recently, and he made a statement that I’ll never forget. He said, “G.F., if I was dangling off the edge of a cliff, and all I had between me and certain death was a rope, I’d want you on the other end of that rope!” That statement literally stopped me in my tracks. You see the respect of men is something that cannot be bought or manipulated. Real men get that. When they give their friendship, there is no better gift.
I want friends that I too can count on. Show me a man’s closest fiends, and I’ll tell you about his character. Superficial relationships are a dime a dozen. Nobody needs any more of those. This year, be intentional to be a great friend, and then be intentional to pray that God would send you a great friend or two. Invest in these friendships.
Things to look for:
Remember, there’s a good reason Jesus sent the disciples out two by two to change the world! So, who would you want holding the rope?