"A friend loves at all times."1
According to an article in an English magazine, "A true friend is one who has the courage to disagree with us when we are in the wrong, and advise us for our own good, rather than let his sympathy or sentimentality cause him to agree."
Charles Spurgeon once said, "Friendship is one of the sweetest joys of life. Many might have failed beneath the bitterness of their trial had they not found a friend."
Dr. Alfred Adler, internationally known psychiatrist, based the following conclusions on a careful analysis of thousands of clients: "The most important task imposed by religion has always been 'Love thy neighbor.' It is the individual who is not interested in his fellow man that has the greatest difficulties in life and provides the greatest injury on others. It is from among such individuals that all human failures spring."
It may not be the most desirable, but it is true that we can live without romantic love, but we cannot live healthy without at least one loving friend.
As Dinah Craik so eloquently said, "Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and with a breath of kindness blow the rest away."
And, oh, the priceless value of having at least one such deep abiding friendship. Thank God for the gift of friendship.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to be a loving friend and be a friend to fellow sinners as you are a loving friend to me. And help me to find at least one loving friend with whom I can be totally open and honest without fear of judgment or rejection. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Proverbs 17:17 (NIV).