For most people they have two very important groups of people in their lives - their family members and their friends. But what does this word ‘friend’ mean?
And does it mean the same to everybody or do different people interpret it in very different ways? Friends usually tend to be people of approximately the same age who enjoy each other’s company and who feel comfortable together. Some friends have been friends for a long time. But sometimes friendships can be formed after a relatively short space of time. Friends can be people who share the same hobbies or interests.
They can be people who have been through a similar set of circumstances. They can be people whom we feel that we can talk to about matters that we may be less willing to talk to most people about. Or perhaps friends can be the people that we can ‘be ourselves with.’ Usually friends are not judgemental about us. They accept us as we are. We tend not to pretend to be what we are not, when we are with our friends. In some circumstances we may be prepared to make sacrifices for our friends.
We may be prepared to forgo what we want to spend our time doing because our friend needs us to be ‘there for her/him’ at a certain time. However friendship is something that is very much ‘two way.’ If we expect certain things from our friends, then we should not be surprised if they expect something from us in return. Many Christians see Jesus as being their friend. After all he fulfils the criteria we often have for friendship. Jesus expects something from his friends. And that is that He expects them to always behave towards others in a caring and supportive way.