Friendships are very important to all of us and this particular morning, while at Mass, I was asking the Lord about a certain “friend”. I couldn’t understand why I was feeling bad about something in regard to this friend, when in fact, she didn’t do anything wrong.
Even the Bible has something to say about friendships which I find very interesting. I have always loved this chapter on friendships in Sirach because it is so true. So after receiving Holy Communion, I was given “instruction” on friends and was reminded to read Sirach. This friend I am questioning, may be a friend but not the type of friend I should consider becoming emotionally attached to or hold in high regard as I would a friend who has proved to be faithful through the good times and bad times. I would say I have 3 such good friends….Two of them live a few hours away and I don’t see or speak to them much but when I do, it is as though we were never apart. I trust them and I know they will always be honest with me. They have always been there and if I do something stupid or wrong they are not afraid to tell me the truth. I like that.
We are emotionally attached to our good friends and when they split its sort of like someone going through a divorce – not quite so dramatic, but you get the point.
Read what Sirach says about friends.
Friendships, according to Sirach 6: 5-17
5 A pleasant voice multiplies friends, and a gracious tongue multiplies courtesies.
6 Let those that are at peace with you be many, but let your advisers be one in a thousand.
7 When you gain a friend, gain him through testing, and do not trust him hastily.
8 For there is a friend who is such at his own convenience, but will not stand by you in your day of trouble.
9 And there is a friend who changes into an enemy, and will disclose a quarrel to your disgrace.
10 And there is a friend who is a table companion, but will not stand by you in your day of trouble.
11 In prosperity he will make himself your equal, and be bold with your servants;
12 but if you are brought low he will turn against you, and will hide himself from your presence.
13 Keep yourself far from your enemies, and be on guard toward your friends.
14 A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter: he that has found one has found a treasure.
15 There is nothing so precious as a faithful friend, and no scales can measure his excellence.
16 A faithful friend is an elixir of life; and those who fear the Lord will find him.
17 Whoever fears the Lord directs his friendship aright, for as he is, so is his neighbor also.
I am an introvert, so to me, having a few friends is good enough. I don’t want to have or hang out with a bunch of people. I like having a friend that isn’t going to walk away when someone “better” comes along. When this does happen, you have to rethink your relationship with that person or better yet, understand the type of person they are. They aren’t bad, they just aren’t cut out to be that good friend and if you realize that from the start you will save yourself a lot of heartache and bad days.
Women, for the most part, go through emotional heartache because of friends. My husband, on the other hand, doesn’t get emotional at all and doesn’t really care if he has a friend to speak to or hang out with.
Our expectations of others really is based on what kind of friend we are I guess. I expect those whom I have a relationship with to be honest, genuine, kind, and faithful and when I deem that they have broken that trust, I realize that perhaps they really are not what I would call a good friend, but rather someone I can hang out with at times, but someone with whom I should not and cannot become attached to. How many times I have thanked God that I did not reveal my “secrets” to certain individuals because once they turn on you, your secret is out for the world to know.
And you know what, that is exactly what the Lord revealed to me today about this person I was struggling with….a person whom I really like and have fun with, but yet someone who will leave at a moments notice to be with someone else if it suits her fancy, leaving me behind. Save yourself from some of these human heartaches by going to the Lord and asking HIM about your friendships…who is and who isn’t worthy of your complete trust and fidelity. Be on Guard towards your friends, says Sirach; And I, for one, am listening. Test them and see if they are worthy. You see, isn’t it interesting and so true how God does indeed instruct us in our everyday lives….even when it comes to friends. He has given us a roadmap to follow.
Friendships indeed are precious and when you have found a stable and faithful friend, you have found a treasure.