23 Oct 2018 05:52am IST
Friends and friendship, these words are exciting! Interesting, attractive! Sure to draw attention if initiated by the one who loves reading! And have friends around…
It has been my experience, how I observed the tiny toddlers for more than two decades grapple to hold hands; put arms around and then suddenly hug! Share tiffin box and even make sure that the friend gets a similar gift like one of theirs on the birthday! Yes, dear friends, it’s an inborn need, an urge for companionship; the longing to love and be loved; a desire to build relationship through different ways and means. Be it through playing, enjoying each other’s company; digital communication; empathise; sympathize or being kind and affectionate. Its here they begin to see, understand, express one’s feelings and also experience rejection! Through this they learn to establish good friendship and choose the one suits best… one who understands, shares, loyal, acceptable, forgives, true and compassionate.
After having known does one experience who a true friend is. Hmmm, someone who lets you have total freedom to be yourself and especially to feel or not to feel. Whatever you happen to be feeling at the moment is fine with them. That's what real love amounts to - letting a person be what he/she really is. While Friendship is a manifestation of God's love, expressed through our friends. Friendship is the purest of all love. For in true friendship there is no compulsion.
Real friendship looks at the heart. Genuine friendship loves for love's sake, not just for what it can get in return. It is both challenging and exciting. It risks, it overlooks faults, and loves unconditionally, but it also involves being truthful, even though it may hurt. Authentic friendship, also called "agape" love, comes from the Lord. Jesus calls us His friends and He laid down His life for us. For Jesus says, I no longer call you servants but I call you friends….(John 15)
Yes, it means laying down your very life, if necessary, for the good of a friend. This is the way God loves us. He gives us what is good for us, not what we want. Happily, there are times when the two coincide! But when they do not coincide, and when our foolish heart longs for what will ultimately make us miserable, God is willing to break our hearts to keep us from that ultimate misery. And remember: the heart of God is tender. When our hearts are broken, He feels it too. But He is willing to endure with us. And that is true friendship.
Trust is essential to true friendship. We all need someone with whom we can share our lives, thoughts, feelings, and frustrations; certainly, to share our deepest secrets with someone, without worrying that those secrets will end up anywhere in the world the next day! Failing to be trustworthy with those intimate secrets can destroy a friendship. Faithfulness and loyalty are keys to true friendship. Without them, we often feel betrayed, left out, and lonely. In true friendship, there is no backbiting, no negative thoughts, no turning away.
Real friends encourage one another and forgive one another where there has been an offense. It supports during times of struggle.