Life is too short for shallow friendships
Proverbs 13:20 He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will suffer harm.
24 Do not associate with a man given to anger; or go with a hot-tempered man,
25 Or you will learn his ways and find a snare for yourself.
The wisdom and keen insight Aristotle’s philosophy of friendship provides wise counsel and direction that has lasted into the 21st century. According to Aristotle, there are three kinds of friendships. The two most common are more accidental than intentional. We kind of just fall into them.
The first type of friendship is defined as a friendship of utility. It is characterized by benefits that are exchanged between the two parties. It is sort of an ad hoc friendship. Thus it is very fleeting and transitory. When the mutual benefit ends so does the relationship. These are the type of relationships we usually form in the work environment. Outside of work, such “friends,” have little in common.
The second type of relationship is based upon the enjoyment, pleasure, or fun that people have when they are with one another. It formed around emotion or common interests. These are the most short-lived of all relationships and are founded upon the fleeting, transitory feelings that are enjoyed at a given time or during a certain activity. For example being on the same team, or sharing the comradery of rooting for the same team, going to the same school, or sharing a common hobby or activity.
But the third type of friendship is the most beneficial and lasting of all. It is the friendship of the good. This kind of friendship is based on a mutual appreciation of the virtues the other person holds dear. It is easy for them to trust one another. In this kind of relationship, the people themselves and the qualities they represent provide the incentive for the two parties to be in each other’s lives. A natural sort of bonding occurs.
Watching another person experience difficult times, if not the worst that life offers, and not merely weathering them, but overcoming them increases the depth and magnitude of the relationship.
When you respect a person and care for them, you gain joy from spending time with them. Such people often bring balance and perspective that enhances each other’s mental and emotional well-being.
These relationships require time and intention, but when they blossom, they do so with trust, admiration, and awe. They bring with them some of the sweeter joys that life has to offer.
Aristotle opted for the cultivation of virtuous friendships built with intention and based on a mutual appreciation of character and goodness. He knew these friendships could only be strengthened over time – and if they did thrive, they would often last for life.
We are, and we live through, the people we spend time with. The bonds we forge with those close to us directly shape the quality of our lives.
Life is too short for shallow friendships (Excerpted from Zat Rana).
REFLECT & PRAY
The words of good friends may hurt us, but they will not harm us.
Father help me to be wise in my relationships with others. Thank you for the wonderful friends that You have given me that love You with their whole heart.
We are to choose friends wisely. Why? Because our friends have great influence in our lives. Their influence can be good or bad. The apostle Paul warns us not to be misled by our friends, “Bad company corrupts good character” (1 Corinthians 15:33).
The apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15 regarding the centrality of the resurrection to our faith. If there was no resurrection of Lord Jesus Christ, then our entire belief system is false and simply crumbles. If Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins (1 Corinthians 15:17). If Christ has not been raised, our faith is useless and pointless. What a tragedy! But indeed, He is risen!
There are many people who deny the resurrection. Sadly, such people may have a bad influence on us. Friends with such beliefs can have a long-term negative effect on us.
Because of our friendship, we may be blinded their influence and we may actually deceive ourselves. The NLT translates Don’t be fooled by those who say such things, for “bad company corrupts good character” (1 Corinthians 15:33).
Proverbs 18:24 A man of too many friends comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Good friends provided by the Father can be more faithful than our closest relatives. Such friends are a genuine and wonderful treasure.
Psalms 1:1 Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers.
What kind of people do you hang out with and consider your friends? Friendship may be defined as a reciprocal relationship which involves trust, faithfulness, kindness, intimacy, and service. The Father understands this basic human need and often provides wonderful friendships. 1 Samuel 18:1 the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as himself.
It is a real privilege to be able to find and enjoy friendship later in life. Sometimes the Father has delightful surprises for us in this regard. This is particularly true after we accept the Lord Jesus as our Savior and begin a new life with Him.
The Father has done something truly wonderful for each of His children. It is beyond imagination. The Lord Jesus Christ said, “I no longer call you slaves, because a master does not confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends” (John 15:15). We have a new BFF (best friend forever), the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.
All children of the King have the BFF that is possible.