Real recently I read a quote from a guy named David Roper in a book called Psalm 23. It says:
“When we ask our friends to take away our loneliness we force on them a burden too heavy for anyone to bear.”
At first I vehemently disagreed, because friends are supposed to be there for each other right? That’s what the purpose of friends is, so that we don’t have to be lonely and sad. Then I started thinking more about what he said and decided there was some validity to his statement. I can’t ask my friends to take away that burden, because that’s a burden only God can take away. I need to turn to God. I decided I needed to focus more on how I could help my friends rather than how they could help me. I took that thinking even farther to think that I shouldn’t bother my friends. At the point of reading this quote, I was a little lonely because I was sitting alone all day at home with no social interactions. It was a shock from coming from school. I decided I should resist the urge to text people just so I would have someone to talk to. That was hard though and I gave in to the urge.
Then I felt guilty for talking to my friends.
What kind of crazy logic is that? I shouldn’t feel guilty for talking to my friends.
Now, a few days later, I am reconsidering this quote and my thinking. The quote may have some validity in that I shouldn’t ask my friends to fill a void when I haven’t first sought out God to fill that void. I shouldn’t ask my friends to take away my loneliness. I should ask God to take away my loneliness. I should be talking to my friends not because I’m lonely but because they are my friends and that’s what friends do. I did some Bible-searching (as opposed to researching) and came across these verses about friendship.
“Many will say they are loyal friends, but who can find one who is truly reliable?” Proverbs 20:6
-Okay…rather than thinking if my friends are reliable, I wonder if I’m a reliable friend? That’s gonna take some soul-searching and more than I wanna post to the world on a blog.
“Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.” Proverbs 27:6
-What? I do not want to be wounded by a friend! That sounds horrible. I guess though I can understand how that is better than being kissed by an enemy, because an enemy’s kisses won’t be sincere. At least a sincere friend will hopefully eventually come back with forgiveness.
There were many others in Proverbs, but the real clincher for my thinking was found in John 15:12-13
“This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
That’s what it means to be a friend- to be willing to sacrifice even your life for a friend. As a friend just told me today, friends are a commitment. In order to be a friend, I have to commit to be there and sacrifice, not just expect my friends to do that for me. While friends are there to support me and help me not feel lonely, God has to fill that role first. I need to rely more on him than I do on my friends, and I often I fail in that aspect. This does not mean though that I can’t reach out to friends, because friendship is given to us so that we can support each other. Ecclesiastes 4:12 says that “a person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple braided cord is not easily broken.”
God is my best friend. So I need to go to him first, whether the situation is happy or sad. I also have some pretty great friends here on earth as well who are always willing to listen. For that I am thankful.