Importance of Friendship
One of the most important task that has been given us by our religion is "Love thy neighbor". That directive also includes "Love your family". This directive is a charge to be concerned about human relationships in our lives. It is about the business of creating friendship with people who make us feel comfortable and with those we share honesty and trust.
This includes everybody from mere acquaintances to someone with whom we share our most intimate secrets. The relationship we have with one another will vary from person to person but some kind of bond is always there.
If we feel we don't have many friendships it is quite possible that we don't give enough time to develop them. On our list of goals or "bucket list, developing certain friendships" usually does not appear on them. We simply assume that they will happen automatically, yet, the first rule of friendships should be to assign a top priority to them.
If we are to love our neighbor and develop meaningful relationships, we have to take an interest and spend time on them. If we are to be a friend we must care about others, what they think, what they feel, about their successes and failures in life. Friendship is a circle, since it cannot include the good points and not the bad.
Quite often, friendships end because they are inconvenient. We may have good intentions and good impulses for a strong relationship, but it might be too time and energy consuming to invest in them. Most of the time we are willing to do generous things as long as they are convenient for us. But friendships are quite often very inconvenient because it always includes the "giving of oneself".
Some of the most basic aspects of friendship are loyalty, ability to keep personal confidences, openness, ability to give support, a sense of humor, frankness, as well as personal time.
When Jesus gave His most memorable "Sermon on the Mount", He said "Do unto others as you would have them do to you". Perhaps, in the long run, that is the best definition of friendships. The end result will be an improvement in humanity, a high degree of cooperation between individuals, neighbors, communities, nations, and families.
Pastor Hans Lillejord