What it Means to be a Friend

To be a friend, means to Love, truly, all the time.

A Friend Loves

Proverbs 17:17
A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
The Greek word, friend, "philos," is from "philein," "to love," like the word Love, "phileo." The Spanish word friend, "amigo," sounds like the word Love, "amor." Those are from the Latin "friend," and "Love," "amicus," and "amo." If that's not good enough for you, the English word friend, from the Old English "freond," is from "freon," which means "to love."

"Friend," and "Love," really mean the same kind of thing, so talking about friendship is really talking about Love. Answers.com says, "A friend is a lover, literally." I usually think of somebody who's your friend, as somebody who Loves you. If you're somebody's friend, you Love them. 2 people are friends with each other if they Love each other.

John 15:13

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

A Friend Rejoices

John 3:29
He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.
I could also say, "A Friend Hears." A real friend doesn't just hear, but listening, even from far away, makes him glad. It doesn't just tantalize him. It makes him rejoice greatly, and it makes his joy full. This is where fullness of joy is found.

It's not even in romance. Remember what's perhaps the most famous friendship in the Bible? David said, "I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women." Now, be sure that David was not a Sodomite. God rained fire and brimstone on Sodom and Gomorra for those "exceedingly," "wicked" sins. Just friendship is better than romance.

People can be romantic, and if they're not friends, it's not good. It's more important to be friends than it is to be romantic. It's terrible when there's a husband and wife who don't really Love each other. They need to be friends, first.

Acts 12:13,14

And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel came to hearken, named Rhoda. And when she knew Peter's voice, she opened not the gate for gladness, but ran in, and told how Peter stood before the gate.
Notice the importance of the voice. It's mentioned in the Song of Songs too. This young lady, Rhoda, was so glad to hear that voice she knew, because Peter was her friend. The joy of the Lord comes from hearing Jesus.

John 15:11

These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and [that] your joy might be full.

A Friend Obeys

John 15:14
Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

A Friend Knows

John 15:15
Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
A true friend knows his friends, because he has a desire to understand everything about them. He recognizes them, and they're familiar to him. He also makes everything that he hears and does, known to them. No wonder hearing one another, and speaking to one another, is so important.

Are you sure you know your friends? Are you sure they know you?

Works Cited

"friend." The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. Answers.com 16 Nov. 2005. http://www.answers.com/topic/friend

Works Consulted

"friend*." Blue Letter Bible. 16 Nov. 2005. http://www.blueletterbible.org/cgi-bin/words.pl?word=friend*

"friend." Online Etymology Dictionary. Douglas Harper, 2001. 16 Nov. 2005. http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=friend

"friend." Roget's II: The New Thesaurus, Third Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 1995. Answers.com 16 Nov. 2005. http://www.answers.com/topic/friend

"Definition of friend." Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated, 2005. 16 Nov. 2005. http://m-w.com/dictionary/friend

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