Friends

What value do they have? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I was going through a book for a group I’m in and a question asked was what matters so much to you in your life. I wrote down various interests and focuses I have in my life. The next question was which could you live without?

That was a much harder question. Not even family survived that list. I love my family, but if something happened to them, I would still keep going. In the end, there were only two items I had on the list. One was Jesus.

The other was friends.

This does not mean one particular friend. It means people in your life that consist as friends. Throughout life, these change. The point is these are people that are not necessarily related to you. (Family can be friends, but we don’t normally see them in that capacity.)

Aristotle I understand once said that friends are not essential to life, but it is hard to imagine a life without them. As I thought about this further, I thought naturally about the Bible. When we get to the New Testament, what do we see?

Go look at the epistles. They normally end with addresses to the friends of the sender. When Paul is in prison, who comes and takes care of him? His friends do it. Paul feels truly alone when he feels abandoned by his friends.

Let’s even consider Jesus. Jesus didn’t really travel with His family. He traveled with His disciples that were His friends. When He is dying on the cross, who is it that is there? The beloved disciple, His friend, the same one He entrusted His mother to instead of His own brothers.

Today, we have too often diluted the term. Right now I have on Facebook over 3,500 friends. The huge majority of them I don’t know. There are a few in that number I have come to know well and I do consider to be friends. These are blessed gifts, but we can easily say for many of us that not all Facebook friends are really friends.

Friends often make things easier to go through in life and make all the good times even better. There is always something special about getting together with friends for a time. As a gamer, friends are definitely a high priority. I have two really good friends that I regularly play Final Fantasy XIV with for example.

When I am going through something hard, it is great to be able to reach out to a friend and talk to them about it. Sometimes they just listen. Sometimes, it is also good to have those friends who care about me enough that they will tell me something that I don’t want to hear. There is always a way to say such a hard truth, but a good friend will strive to do it in the best way.

Our good experiences are always amplified by friends. As I referred to earlier, being a gamer, playing a game alone can be good. Playing a game with friends makes it even better. As a guy, I can play a game wanting to beat my friends if it’s competitive, but in the end we still leave as really good friends.

Just thinking about that, my favorite genre of games also is RPGs and lo and behold, friends play a major part in that too. One often has a party that consists of several people all working together for the same goal. It’s amazing what different people can do together when they band together to fight for a common cause.

Finally, I’m probably not thankful enough for my friends. Well, definitely not thankful enough. If you are a friend of mine reading this, thank you. I also know when I pray before bed every night, I need to give thanks for those friends. They are gifts I do not have to have, but I am glad to have in my life.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)
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