A True Friend
What are two of the most important characteristics of a true friend? We could say, "A person who stands up for you," or "A person who will loan you money," or "A person who ____________" (you fill in the blank). There are many characteristics of a true friend but here are the two most important.
First is an unfailing love for you that continues throughout your lives together. That covers a lot of ground since love enters into a lot of decisions in friendship. We can see from 1 Corinthians 13 that "Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance."
This last sentence examples the second important characteristic of a true friend. It is their faithfulness. The "never" and "always" and "endures" emphasizes that characteristic. A person who has faithfulness is someone you can depend on. Faithfulness implies consistency, highlights diligence of the heart and is manifested in every area of their life. It is especially revealed in their fidelity, reliability and loyalty.
Now we've been talking about human friends but these two characteristics are also true of God. The psalmist exclaimed, "For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation." (100:5) These two are linked together and quoted over and over in the book of Psalms.
God is an unfailing lover. He loved us before we were born when He provided the sacrifice of His Son on the cross for our sins. He loves us now, even when we step back from Him. And, He will continue to love us in the future, here on earth and in eternity. The father of the prodigal son of Luke 15 is the greatest example of this love.
God is also faithful. He cannot be otherwise. His attributes work in unison with the truth that He is faithful.
All this said, in a world where false understandings of love and faithfulness abound, we know we can depend on God to love us and be faithful to us. Take a moment to answer objectively the following questions:
1. Did the sun come up this morning?
2. When was the last time you breathed a breath of air?
3. How long ago was it you felt drops of rain?
4. Is God supplying not necessarily all you want but all you need?
5. What has God given so you can know Him better? I will answer that one. The Bible, The Holy Spirit indwelling you, the church to encourage you, and a new nature inside of you to connect to Him.
Thank Him today for all He provides through His unfailing love and faithfulness as a true friend.