"A friend loves at all times." What sort of companion or friend am I? There is a tremendous contrast between knowing somebody well and being a genuine friend. The best proof of certifiable friendship is steadfast loyalty.
Our friendship with others should not lessen due to unforeseen circumstances. There is no one but Christ who merits unconditional friendship, but we should strive to be as Christ would have us to be.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).
What Does 'A Friend Loves at All Times' Mean?
Being an individual that is accessible to help in the midst of pain or individual battles is vital. Such a large number of individuals are part-time, wavering, indecisive, or fair-weather companions.
The ones that stick around you when they obtain help from, and they receive benefits from the friendship and then they avoid you when they feel that they are not getting anything from the friendship kinship. We need to think about our companions and survey our faithfulness to them. We should be the sort of friend that is true and faithful that the Bible empowers.
One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24).
Forlornness or loneliness is widespread. Many individuals today feel cut off and estranged from others. Being in a group simply makes some individuals more mindful of their disengagement and their own isolation.
These lonely individuals should not have to hear “have a pleasant day.” They need companions who will stick close, tune in, care, and provide help when it is required, no matter what circumstances or challenges they may face.
What is better to have, one true companion or many shallow and superficial colleagues? Rather than wishing that we could discover a genuine friend, we should try to become one.
There are individuals who need our true friendship, so we ought to request that God uncover them to us, and afterward step up and become that true and genuine companion. If we want to have faithful friends in this life, then we ought to present ourselves as friendly. “You are my friends if you do what I command” (John 15:14). “If you love me, keep my commands” (John 14:15).
There is an old red back church hymnal song, “I’ll Be a Friend to Jesus.”
“They tried my Lord and Master, with no one to defend; within the halls of Pilate, He stood without a friend… I’ll be a friend to Jesus, my life for Him I’ll spend; I’ll be a friend to Jesus, until my years shall end.”
There is another old red back church hymnal song, “I Love the Lord, Down in My Heart.”
“I love the blessed Savior divine; He brightens up this pathway of mine, From His dear side I’ll never depart; I’ll follow wheresoever He leads, my soul each day He tenderly feeds, I love the Lord deep down in my heart... I love the Lord deep down in my heart, no earthly change can cause us to part; I’ve been made a child with a homeward start, I love the Lord deep down in my heart.”
Why 'A Friend Loves at All Times' Is Important?
Are we truly friends with the Lord? Do we really love the Lord like we say we do? Do we do as He says and do what He says to do? If we say we are a friend of Jesus, then we should be. If we are not obeying Him, then maybe we are not a faithful friend?
Jesus states when questioned, that the greatest commandment in the Law was to “love thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind…and the second is this, love thy neighbor as thyself” (Matthew 22:36-40; Galatians 5:14).
Jesus is saying that if we really love God and our neighbor, we will want to keep the commandments. This is taking a positive look at God’s law. Instead of stressing over all that we ought not to do, we should focus on all that we can do to show our affection for God and others.
When we are not inspired by love and affection, we become disparaging of others. We quit searching for the goodness in them and we begin to only see just their faults.
Before long, the unity of the congregation and the church, and that of believers is broken. Have we become guilty of only seeing the inadequacies or faults in others rather than their qualities?
So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets (Matthew 7:12).
This is what is commonly known as the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Luke 6:31). It is not difficult to avoid hurting others; it is harder to step up in doing something that benefits them. The Golden Rule as Jesus established is the basis of mercy and goodness that is active in its function, the type that God shows to us every single day.
'A Friend Loves at All Times' - Why Are We Called to This?
Why is love for others called an obligation? We are forever owing a debt to Christ for the extravagant love he has spilled out on us. The only way we can start to reimburse this obligation, this debt, is by loving others.
Since Christ’s love will consistently be boundlessly more noteworthy than our own, we will consistently have the commitment to love our neighbors, to love others.
Christians should comply with the law of love, which supplants both common civil and religious laws. It is naturally easy to pardon our aloofness to others on the grounds that we have no legitimate commitment to help them. Jesus does not leave an escape clause in the law of love. At whatever point love requires it, we are to go past human lawful prerequisites and abide by the God of love (Romans 13:8-10).
We must treat all people as we would want to be treated, regardless of their financial status. Do not show favoritism to the rich for what they can give us and ignore the poor for what little they can offer. We are equal in the eyes of God (James 2:8-9).
We are to love each other as Jesus loved all of us. He even gave His life for us. We might not have to die for somebody, however, there are approaches to provide sacrificial love to someone else: we can listen, we can help, by giving consolation, and by giving. Give all the love that we can and attempt to give more (John 15:12-13).
That is what it means to be a loving friend.
For further reading:
Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/monkeybusinessimages
Chris Swanson answered the call into the ministry over 20 years ago. He has served as a Sunday School teacher, a youth director along with his wife, a music director, an associate pastor, and an interim pastor. He is a retired Navy Chief Hospital Corpsman with over 30 years of combined active and reserve service. Chris holds a Doctor of Ministry, an M.B.A., and a B.S. in health administration. Chris and his wife Vicki, of 25 years, reside in Madison, Alabama. You can visit my site here.