friend noun 1a: one attached to another by affection or esteem; 2a: one that is not hostile
Although the Apostle Paul is saying this to the church at Philippi, I would like to generalize this scripture to make a point about our own brothers and sisters in the faith; those throughout our lives with whom we have been our friends and a wonderful blessing to us through thick and thin. There are those individuals, perhaps family members, perhaps friends or church members, who have meant a lot to our spiritual growth in this life. Some are in our lives for only a short while, a single chapter in our lives, then are gone. They are a true friend to us and we thank God every time they come to mind. They are encouraging, empathetic, kind, helpful … they are living examples of 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. There is a mutual love and respect for one another. No judgment or condemnation comes from their lips. They are understanding and supportive, no matter what we have gotten ourselves into. That is a true brother or sister in Christ; that is a true friend. They don’t condone misdeeds in any way, however, seek to be instructive rather than combative, so as not to drive us away. A relationship has been forged which cannot be severed by age or distance.
We all have someone, perhaps more than one, who falls into that category. God has blessed us with a true friend and someone we need to thank God for regularly. They are stabilizers; they help add structure to our lives. God knows what we need and provides these people in our lives to help lighten our burdens as we walk through this valley of tears called life. May God be praised for His wisdom and compassion, for without it, our struggles this side of heaven would be much greater. Hopefully we are that type of friend to someone.
WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!!