Friendship – a primer

A biblical investigation on the topic of friendship seems odd. In retrospect, my proverbial highway has been littered by more friends than anything else – more than enemies or those ladies who suffered my affection and devotion as a youngling. I am embarrassed at my attempts over the years at being a good friend. I still rub salve over wounds hard to heal. The notion of friendship feels elusive. My fingertips grasp through the veil and return with nothing. It is a melancholy experience I’d rather do without.

A mindset saturates us that we must be the obese, fetid baby selfishly ramming people down his throat when they meet his needs. We operate within the parameters of friendship based on what others can do for us. My experience tells me that lazy selfishness – oops, friendship – opts for self gratification. We (I really mean myself) cast a mental image of the perfect friend on all who enter our circle of intimacy. When they disappoint, and there is no doubting this point – that they will disappoint, they are tossed out like some personal embarrassment you would rather no one stumbled upon rather than entrench yourself in the invaluable battle for your friend. When we should fight for each other we find ourselves strategizing against one another – keeping score. How many people desperately and rightly need my repentance to move on?

I admit I don’t know that answer and am not interesting in wallowing in past mistakes to the point of elevating past sins to a place of exultation. Still, I desperately long to mature in my walk with the Lord. I long to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which I have been called. I want to finish well!

It may be surprising (or not) that not a lot of books have been written on biblical friendship. We find great sentimentalities about friendship, such as this primer and Michael W. Smith’s Friends are Friends Forever. I imagine that part of the reason the topic of biblical seems not to be addressed is because it really is under other, weightier topics such as loving your enemy and working for the good of all – especially those who belong to the household of faith.

My desire, and goal, in the next few posts is to peruse the Bible in search for some guideposts for myself as I seek to move forward in friendship – a seemingly elusive peak.

Enjoy the journey!

iz

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