The Value Of Friends

W. Terry Varner
January 28, 2018

NBC aired a popular sitcom titled, “Friends.” It had somewhat of a long run—1994-2004. The sitcom revolved around a group of friends in Manhattan, howbeit it was all filmed in Burbank, California. The emphasis of the program was the desire and the need we all have for a special group of people m our life known as friends.

Each individual needs others with whom we feel comfortable being with and with whom we can share life’s daily ups and downs. We need people that will be honest with us and loyal to us. Solomon wrote, “A friend loves at all times” (Prov. 17:17).

On occasion when a tragedy occurs or a crime is committed, the person responsible is often described as a “loner.” Man is at his worse when he has no friends. The world is a lonely place especially so when one tries to live without friends. It becomes downright destructive in many ways.

Robison Crusoe's lonely world changed when his man “Friday” came onto the scene. The need for a friend is well-illustrated by Tom Hanks in the movie “Castaway.” His contrived soccer ball friend “Wilson” helped keep his sanity. These friendships gave hope to these men as they tried to survive in a world that is not friendly.

When Job suffered, his three friends came “to sympathize with him and comfort him” (Job 2:11). Three times Hushai is called King David’s friend, and his loyalty helped overthrow Absalom’s rebellion (2 Sam. 17). Jesus was known as a man who loved people and developed friendships. His detractors criticized his friendly nature as a “gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners” (Luke 7:34). Jesus also had special friendships with Lazarus, Mary, and Martha (John 11).

To develop friendships take effort. Sometimes we fail to make that effort. We must realize that friendships are not bom, they are made. To have friends you must be a friend. As the old saying goes, People who like people are people that people like.”

The famous golfer Tiger Woods was asked in a recent interview, “Do youhave any friends?” He thought for a moment and answered. “I have acquaintances.’’ Sad. Do not be a loner. Rather, develop friendships, make time for friends, and be a good friend yourself. Pick your friends wisely. When you nave friends; call them, visit them, and enjoy them. You life is better because of it.

I have been blessed for over 40 years with a close friend. I realize as I look back on this friendship that I would not have been able to do all that I have done, I would not have enjoyed life as much as I have enjoyed it, had the two of us not become friends many years ago. He helped in my successes and he comforted me in my failures. He has been what a true friend is to oe. He is not alone. I have friends of fewer years and I thank God for them. My close friends have enabled me being to be blessed in many experiences something that many people never experience: truly deep and lasting friendships. Friendship takes, commitment and effort. Its rewards are great.

Solomon wrote: “There is a friend that is closer than a brother” (Prov. 18:24). He speaks of Jesus. Makes friends with Jesus. He is the best Friend a person can have in this life and in eternity.