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Chains of Friendship Forged

Chains

“A man of many companions may come to ruin,
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”
Proverbs 18:24

Alright, so this may be my sappiest post-not sure but who knows what the future holds? God does for sure if you want the Sunday school answer. But after the week I have had, I just feel the need to write this out and honor the people I have in mind. I won’t mention them by name, but they will know who they are. These are the people I have grown closest to in my time at school and they have done a lot for me-a lot more than what I have done for them, I believe. So, onwards to exploring what a true biblical friendship looks like and how I believe the friends I have made fit that explanation.
If you didn’t see it at the beginning, go back and take a look at it. This will be the foundation for everything I say. With this being my senior year of college, I am afraid what will happen to the friendships I have made here. When we go our separate ways, will we still be able to maintain that same level of friendship? I constantly pray to God that it will be so-I would very much like it to be so. In my life, after God-there is nothing more important to me than my family and friends-both I’d be willing to help in any way I can. My study Bible has a note on this verse that I believe is correct in describing the way I treat my friendships:

“The contrast seems to be between two kinds of companions: those whose friendship is superficial and who cause trouble, and the rare friend who is as loyal as a brother.”

So, I would like to think I have no superficial friendships but I’d be lying to myself if I truly believed that. I know there are other people who I call friend, but there is a group of people where I have actively poured time and effort on a regular basis to grow them and become closer to them. And there is a reason for that-each one has helped me to grow spiritually stronger in my walk with God. Earlier this week, without going into a lot of detail, I got some bad news that had highly stressed me out and affected my overall demeanor. At any given moment, I would have bitten the head of the next person to talk to me-I know that’s a graphic image but that was how I was feeling at the time. Later that evening, I had the great pleasure to grill food for a bunch of my friends. Talking with them and just hearing about their day and serving them in the way I was-giving them a good meal-helped me to de-stress about the earlier bad news I had received. This is may sound a little cliché, but I don’t care. God had timed that cookout exactly right. One of the things in my life I try to do is that I try to exemplify and practice on incorporating one of the fruits of the Spirit from Galatians 5. Needless to say, I was not feeling that any of those at the beginning of the cookout-but as the evening wore on, I began feeling them… Not in me but rather from each of my friends. Each one I talked to, I felt a different kind, well, and I’m not sure what the word is, but let’s just go with the fruits. Each one of my friends had the Spirit flowing in a different way to bring me back down off my stress and just be at ease and enjoy the evening I had helped to set up. This is how I consider my friends closer than a brother-they help even when they don’t know it. I put the time and effort into making them my closest friends and this is what I see in them doing for me. DK, BD, SR, ND, JM, JS-these will more than likely mean nothing to most of you, but to my friends who were there-this is a shout-out to you all-thank you!

Thomas Bird

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