“A man that hath friend must shew himself friendly…” (Proverbs 18:24a)
This is the way. If you want to have friends, you must be a friend, in other words. You have to terraform the locale in which you find yourself–bloom where you’re planted, as it were–in order to allow the Lord to come around with that which you need. Jesus says “a prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.” (Mark 6:4) Meaning it can be extraordinarily hard to come by true friends where you’re from. One decompresses from their disciplinary ordeals the further they get from ground zero. When once you are allowed a little leeway and vacation from your stomping grounds–the place in which God is using you for change–you begin to see where you are for what it is. A relatively dense and dark corner of hell that needs redecorating. And as you spend time with the Lord in those places on the fringe, you’ll be well equipped to bring the atmosphere of Heaven back to the place from where you hail. This is terraforming, God’s way.
“…and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24b)
But what does this have to do with “friendship”? Because a friend is one of the best things in the world to have. Even those diametrically opposed to you in heart, mind, worldview, etc. can be your friend (this is true and it isn’t kindergarten). Jesus says “Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness” (Luke 16:9, emphasis mine) meaning be responsible with money and respect it, essentially. And if He uses that word to describe the thing the love of which is “the root of all evil” (1 Timothy 6:10), it goes without saying that you can become friends with anyone–provided they’re inclined, as well. Jesus is that friend that sticks closer. He calls us friends. And we get our model from Him in everything we do.
“A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” (Proverbs 17:17)
But it’s a joyous and wonderful thing. As each place is radically different in feel from the next, the more time you spend where you’re at, you both alter it by diffusing the presence of the Holy Spirit even as the place influences your own person. Like a fine wine, the influences of which tell the longer you linger. You become a true reflection of your little plot and also the Lord remakes it into a place fit for a king. And He is the King of kings.
“Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.” (John 15:15)
So be a friend. It might go without saying in the world of adults who’ve come back around to seeing all the childhood attention grabbing and high school posturing for what it is. But it still needs to be said. “Friend” is overused and misunderstood and quite possibly undervalued in the world at large. But not between you and Christ, right? And please understand, it may have taken all of five minutes to read the above but the process takes years.