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    "A friend loves at all times..."

    I’ve been thinking lately about friends, and about friendship.  We have acquaintances, co-workers, friends of friends, pals…but how many true blue friends do we really have?  ‘True blue’ means, among other definitions, unwavering and steadfast.  Very few of us retain those friends, over the years, who prove themselves false; and very few of us garner friendships from among those with whom we are not like-minded.  We have friends, and then we have our closest friends.  We have large rings of those with whom we are friendly, but we have only one inner circle of kindred spirits.  Friend, buddy, comrade, brother.

    From ancient Hebrew, the terms fellow-citizen, neighbor, companion, and intimate fellow, can all be translated ‘friend’ in English.  In Roman times, the audience at a debate would be called “friends”.  Most modern world languages have several meanings or usages for friend, or friendship.  I think of most people, with whom I am friendly, as friends.  I guess, though, that my closest friends I think of as family.  And while it is true that we don’t need an abundance of companions or acquaintances, everyone does benefit from at least one true, real friend.

    Someone who is there for us no matter what.  Who is honest with us, suffers and rejoices with us, and who loves us unconditionally.  Maybe women have more of these relationships than men.  I also wonder if we realize that among our own family is where we find our first and best friendships. I have determined to be more thankful for my wealth of friends, and to try harder to be a better friend to others.

    If you have children still at home, they need guidance and training in choosing real friends.  Companions on life’s road that will encourage and exalt; not tear down or undermine.  We, as well as our kids, need people around us that are positive, strong, and give good counsel.  There is already enough struggle and temptation in the world without burdening ourselves with bad companions.

    Just a few thoughts to carry us through the weekend, and I hope you have a lovely one!

    A friend loves at all times,
       and a brother is born for a time of adversity. 
    Proverbs 17:17