David and Jonathan. Samwise Gamgee and Frodo Baggins. Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. Batman and Robin. Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. Tom and Huck. Lucy and Ethel. Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Anne Shirley and Diana Barry. Winnie-the-Pooh and Christopher Robin. Dynamic duos fill the pages of both history and fiction.
WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM THEIR STORIES?
As Winnie-the-Pooh so famously philosophized, “A day without a friend is like a pot without a single drop of honey left inside.” Friendship is sweet, filling, and to be savored, just like the amber treasure inside our favorite bear’s honeypot. True kindred spirits are hard to come by, much more easily found in novels than history books.
Friendship’s benefits aren’t just limited to matters of the heart. Science tells us that friendship is good for our overall health, making us happier, less stressed, and ultimately live longer. But as the old adage goes, “In order to have a friend, you must first be a friend.”
“A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24Click to tweet
God created us to live in community. In Hebrews 10:24-25, He tells us, “and let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” We need people in our lives to care about and who care about us – those people who will go the extra mile to help us when we’re in need, who will tell the truth in love, who will listen to our tales of woe in this fallen world, and who will encourage us to stay strong in our relationships with God.
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT FRIENDSHIP?
“Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” Proverbs 27:6.
“Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” Proverbs 27:17.
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13.
“A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.” Proverbs 11:13.
“Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10.
THE ULTIMATE FRIENDSHIP
The best friend we could ever have is God. His love is perfect, casting out fear (I John 4:18). He is an ever-present help in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1). He is our comforter (II Corinthians 1:3-4), our counselor (Isaiah 9:6), our confidante (II Timothy 1:12). And like every relationship, a friendship with God is a two-way street. Our reciprocal role is this: Jesus says, “Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.” (John 15:15).