Brian - True friendship, true love does exist
By Brian Whitmore
Friendship and love.
These words mean a lot of different things to people. In our social media society, neither means much.
Some have thousands of friends on social media, but many lack one true friend.
“If you have one true friend, you have more than your share.” – Thomas Fuller.
Aristotle figured there were three types of friendship:
Utility – Exist because someone is useful to you.
Pleasure – Exist between those whose company you enjoy.
Good – Exist out of mutual respect and admiration.
Utility is a user relationship, you use somebody or they use you. Pleasure is superficial. Good is deep.
At some point in every relationship, a “friend” can exhibit all of these types, but a good friend — that’s what you want.
In truth, most of the people in our lives are acquaintances or associates.
True Friend — someone who doesn't place a classification, condition, value, or limitation on a relationship; someone who will provide emotional support and will also remain friends during good and bad times without exceptions. – SL Young.
You don’t want a conditional friend – “If” friends.
You want an unconditional friend.
Unfortunately many friends I’ve had in life have been utility or conditional friends. Some about used me up. Some said they loved me, but when it was time for action they were nowhere to be found.
You never want a friend that deals in absolutes. Either fall in line with their will or they’ll shun you. Is that even a friend?
Early in my life I had friends of pleasure. Later in my life, I’ve realized the difference between utility friends and good friends. Some lessons in friendship break your heart, but as you move forward these lessons learned make you a better person.
“We find out when you die the keys to heaven can't be bought.
We still don't know what love is but we sure know what it's not.” – Kenny Chesney
I admit, I’ve failed as a friend. I want to do better.
One of my key traits through the years has been loyalty, but I’ve found you can be loyal to a fault. Never blindly follow any man or woman. It’s OK to question a friend. If it’s not, you don’t have a friend, you have a cult.
Sometimes doing what you believe is the right thing can cost you a friend. That’s OK. Never change your principals just to keep a friend.
Now friendship ties directly into love. You can’t have one without the other.
Ancient Greeks had four distinct types of love:
• Eros – Romantic
• Storage – Familiar, family
• Philia – affectionate, brotherly
• Agape – unconditional, God’s love
Romantic is good, but will it last in the bad times?
Love makes a family, not blood.
Caring for someone and loving someone are different things.
Again, unconditional is what you want.
True friendship. True love. Does it exist?
Yes. This friendship and love is divine and took the form of a person — Jesus Christ.
“There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” – John 15:13.
Out of all the types of friends and all the types of love, only one has never failed me — Jesus Christ.
I have few friends. I don’t like social media, it cheapens the word “friend.”
I can say, “I love everyone,” but do I? No. Words without action just cheapen the Agape love that God has shown us.
I want to be a better friend and show God’s love.
I want better friends, who show God’s love.
Thankfully, God has blessed me with His friendship and also with one true friend in the flesh. My wife, Jane, shows me unconditional love — God’s love. I try to return that unconditional love. We are committed to each other. We put God first and then the other.
I don’t need social media to keep up with my best friends. I talk to God through prayer and the study of His Word. I share life with my wife.
In the end, any superficial friendship, love or relationship is fake. How do you know the difference? The real friendship, love and relationships last.
“Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.” – 1 John 3:18.
If you need a friend, you’ve got one in Jesus. Look to Him.
If you need a friend in the flesh, again look to Him. He provides what we need. Don’t give up on love and friendship. Keep walking life’s path, you’ll find it.
“And friends are friends forever if the Lord's the Lord of them. And a friend will not say never 'Cause the welcome will not end.” – Michael W. Smith