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Today it seems the word “friend” is greatly misunderstood and misused. Facebook (FB) has given two new words to our language: Unfriended – Defriended. Wonder how it feels to be unfriended. One FB person excitedly said, “I have over a thousand friends!” (Really) BTW: FB friend limit is 5,000 (Sorry)! Roy Rogers sang to Trigger, “A four-legged friend will never let you down. He’s honest and faithful right up to the end. That wonderful one, two, three, four-legged friend.” I know four-legged animals can be friends, but I am also grateful for my two-legged friends that never let me down. Some brighten a room when they enter, while some brighten a room when they leave.

Who is a true friend? Friends think and listen, not talk and leave. Friends come in all shapes and sizes, but their hearts are always BIG. Friends remain when others leave.  A friend is someone you can trust with your secrets. Gems are precious, but friends are priceless. Good times become great times when shared with a friend. A good friend tells you what you want to hear, but a Godly friend tells you what is best for you. Good friends relieve stress, provide comfort and joy, and prevent loneliness and isolation. Some friends are absent, but present when needed. Silence with a friend is never awkward.  A friend grows gladness and lessens grief.  A friend is a flower in the garden of life. Friends are like stars, you don’t always see them but know they are there. “I had a broken heart to mend; God mended it by sending me a friend.” (JoAnn Whitaker). Note: It takes a long time to grow an old friend.

I teach that everyone needs five faithful friends:  A Paul to mentor and encourage, a Timothy to teach and assist (2Tim.1:2), an Onesiphorus to refresh and restore (2Tim. 1:16), a couple as Priscilla and Aquila to fellowship and share life (Rom.16:3), and a faithful Luke who is always “there” as needed (2Tim.4:11). Naturally, women need a Pauline, Tina, Opal, Priscilla, and a Louise.  

After I taught this, I asked a person, “Will you be my friend?” She said, “Sorry, I already have my five.” Oh, Well! A closing poem: Friends Are Everywhere: “If you have eyes to see them, ears to listen to them, hands to help them, a heart to love them” – (UK). Also remember that you always have a Friend who is closer than a brother (Prov.18:24).  “For he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Heb. 13:5). This flows both ways: “Thee forsake nor thee leave, never will I.” We can all thankfully sing, “What a Friend we have in Jesus.” Jesus is better than a thousand FB friends, and you are truly blessed if you also have five faithful friends!

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