"There are friends who 'pretend' to be friends, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother."1
Many definitions have been given to describe friendship. Some time ago an English publication offered a prize for the best one, and, "A friend is one who understands our silence" was one of the thousands of entries. But the one that took first prize was this: "A friend—the one who comes in when the whole world has gone out."
To me, a true friend is one who knows all about you and loves you still, who gives you his or her presence, who listens with his or her heart and actually hears what you are saying—who accepts you for who you are and not for what you have or haven't done. A good friend is one who doesn't judge you, try to fix you, or tell you what you should do. He or she will appreciate your friendship and tell you so, will rejoice with you in your successes and weep with you in your sorrows. And, at times, a good friend will confront you and graciously point out a fault, but no matter what, he or she will stand by you. These friends are rare and precious.
But the greatest friend of all is the One who stepped out of the ivory palaces of heaven and came to earth as a man—clothed in a garment of human flesh—to identify with us, and who died on the cross to save us from our sins, to give us a free pardon and the gift of eternal life. He is "a friend who sticks closer than a brother" and will "never, not ever, no never leave us or forsake us."2 His love is absolutely total, unconditional, and eternal. His name is Jesus.
Prayer: "Dear Jesus, thank you that you are a friend of sinners and, as such, you have accepted me as a friend of yours. Help me to show my appreciation for your dying on the cross in my place by my living for you in every way possible. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Proverbs 18:24 (NLT).
2. See Hebrews 13:5