We may have a large number of acquaintances, but how many close friends do we have? Solomon writes about the importance of having a close friend,

A man of too many friends comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24)

The word “friends” in this passage denotes a companion, but the word “friend” in the second half of this verse is a different word that indicates a deep affection of love for the person. The Apostle Paul epitomizes this type of friendship as he wrote to the Thessalonians,

Having so fond an affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us. (1 Thessalonians 2:8)

A true friend is one who will rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Who are the people in your life that will rejoice with you and weep with you?

Fate may choose our relatives, but we choose our friends. We must realize that our true wealth is measured not in terms of riches, but in the quality of our relationships. Aristotle described a friend as a single soul dwelling in two bodies. Close friends are two minds thinking the same thought and two hearts beating as one.

A friend is one who knows your weaknesses and limitations and still loves you. A friend accepts you as you are but also helps you become who you should be. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe teaches us, “If you treat an individual as he is, he will remain how he is. But if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be and could be, he will become what he ought to be and could be.” Solomon reveals how friends can bring out the best in us,

Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17)

A friend will speak the truth in love to us and tell us not just what we want to hear but what we need to know,

Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy. (Proverbs 27:6)

Take some time and reach out to thank the friends in your life and let them know that you appreciate their investment in your life.

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. (Proverbs 17:17)

Ralph Waldo Emerson reminds, “The only way to have a friend is to be one.”

RickAssociate Pastor – Discipleship.  The Church at LifePark

Professor of Discipleship, Columbia International University

Follow me on twitter:  rickhiggins5