The REAL Definition of a FRIEND

A childhood friend gave me a big, colorful poster to put on my wall that gave an interesting definition of a friend. Not only can I remember little of my childhood, but I can remember nothing of the poster other than its purpose to define a friend. I do remember how I considered this girl my best friend, and I also remember how she gave up our friendship when another little girl gave her an ultimatum to choose between me and her. Off she went. I am not sure if there is any perfect definition of a friend, and I certainly have fallen far short as a friend far too many times to recount, but today I had the great pleasure – and blessing – of seeing a wonderful definition of friendship in action. And it all boils down to six words.

Love. Pray. Time. Listen. Share. Laugh. As the Lord had led me to do months ago, and I just couldn’t seem to get around to it, I shared with my long-time friend the hardest thing I have ever had to share with another human. I came with no expectations other than to do as the Lord had told me. How surprised, and blessed beyond measure I was, when my friend gave me the greatest gift a friend can give. She laid down her life for me. She gave me the love of Jesus Christ. Prayer to God. Her time in a busy world. She listened to me when so many do not take the time and care to listen. She shared with me about her own self. And she laughed with me. Yes, in the midst of a conversation in which I shared the deepest place in my heart, she even helped me to laugh.

I probably will never remember the definition of a friend that was on that childhood poster. But I have seen in action what it is for a friend to lay down her life for me. In loving me, praying for me, giving me her time, sharing with me, and laughing with me, she gave me the greatest gift I believe a friend can give. She gave me her heart that is so filled with the Lord’s love that she can’t keep it to herself. It is this love of Christ she pours out to the world around her, inspiring me to continue to aspire to do the same. Talk about the REAL definition of a FRIEND.

p.s. I thank God for EVERY SINGLE FRIEND He has blessed me with throughout my life. I treasure each and every one of you, and each of you blesses me in a unique, God-given way. And for those of you I don’t know, I consider you my friends also. I love you all with the love of God! Bless you all! 

    “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13 NIV
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