Friendship. It is a beautiful idea, and when we look back at history, we see many wonderful friendships based on a love of courage, virtue, and truth. There was David and Jonathan. Jesus and his Apostles. C. S Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. In today’s world we are constantly lectured by the psychobabblers that if we aren’t popular, and we aren’t having sex with people we aren’t married to, that there is something deeply wrong with us, and we have to get their advice to figure out what it is, and of course, we must pay them for this advice. Sigmund Freud, the Father of psychiatry was a world class libertine and a fraud, and his opinion isn’t worth two hoots. Yet, psychiatrists today get paid billions of dollars today, after paying billions to universities for ‘training’ to learn this nonsense, and then, when your average hurting human comes to them, they feed them this gibberish and the cure for their patients is worse than the original disease.
True friendship must be based upon truth. The advise of Polonius in Hamlet is excellent still, “This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canstnot then be false to any man.” If we are not first the friend of God and our own conscience, we cannot truly be the friend of any other human, for any friendship that exists with other humans in the absence of the friendship with God and our conscience, must be superficial, shallow, and inferior to the friendships formed when we first are friends with God and our conscience.
Reviewing the Ten Commandments, it is clear that the first four deal with man’s relationship with God, the fifth deal with man’s relationship with the humans God tasked to bring him into existence, namely his parents, and the sixth through the tenth deal with man’s relationships with his fellow humans. In today’s sick society, we have schools, the media, tech companies, television, movies, and celebrities lying to us that relationships with humans who blatantly defy God is more important than our relationships with God himself and his commandments. Which explains why we have such a corrupt and ignorant society.
‘One man with God is a majority’, said Brother Andrew, and how true that is. Friendship must be based upon objective truth, for it is impossible for two people who have different subjective truths to long remain friends. Often you see in the Bible, which is the ancient document with the most manuscript evidence in human history, that Godly men were alone. Abraham had no friends when he left his home. Isaac was alone often. Jacob wrestled with an angel alone. Joseph went into slavery alone. Moses was alone in the desert after fleeing Egypt. David was alone when running away from Saul. Christ was alone in the wilderness when tempted by the Devil, and Paul was often alone in jail, and in his missionary trips. You can’t write massive letters, and his made up over half the New Testament, when you are enjoying the company of friends, you must be solitary to think and write coherently.
Too often Americans sacrifice the truth out of a desire to get along with others. But, you never find a man of God doing that in the Bible. There is tact, kindness, longsuffering, and patience, but never did you see a man of God willingly give up his truth out of fear of man. That said, there were three instances of Abraham and Isaac, out of fear, not telling the truth that Sarah and Rebeccah were their wives, nearly leading to their wives being taken as wives by foreign kings.
We will not be popular for telling the truth. As Tertullian said, ‘The first reaction to truth is hatred’, and as Plato said, ‘No man is hated more than he who tells the truth’. But, does that mean we don’t tell the truth? Must we cower and cringe in fear, when God commanded, in 2 Timothy 1:7, ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind’?
Our destiny depends on how we respond to adversity. We will be remembered by our courage or cowardice. Future lives will be made better or worse by our example, and it is our duty, to live a life of truth, service, love, and compassion. There can be no love and compassion without truth.
Often friendships are pursued for selfish reasons, but a friendship pursued for selfless reasons means it is based upon mutual love of truth, and of service to God and others. The greatest friends are those who are first the friend of God.
Viewing others experience and my own, it becomes apparent that those are true friends of others who have first practiced denial of self. Those who indulge self make poor friends.
Proverbs 17:17 – A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
Proverbs 27:6 – Faithful [are] the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy [are] deceitful.
Proverbs 22:24– Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go:
1 Thessalonians 5:21
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.