34 Question 1

Let’s start by reading Proverbs 17:17 which says, “A friend loveth at all times…”  From this, we understand that someone who is a true friend loves through thick and thin; through good and bad times.  A true friend cares when you are hurting and rejoices with you when you are happy.  Because every believer on the Lord Jesus Christ is a member of the body of Christ, we read this in Romans 12:5, “So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.”  It’s because of that mutual membership in the body of Christ, that Christians can enjoy the greatest of friendships with other Christians.  So close are the members of the body of Christ that Romans 12:15 tells us to, “Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.”  As our high priest, the Lord Jesus Christ certainly rejoices when we rejoice and weeps when we weep.  We read in Hebrews 4:15, “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”  As our example, we too, should be compassionate when others suffer.  Friends should also be very patient with one another as we read in Colossians 3:12-13, “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.”  Longsuffering means to be patient and forbearing means to put up with each other.  And, of course, forgiveness is foundational to friendship.

I’m citing all these examples not to show you how your friend should treat you, but how you should treat your friend.  It’s frustrating and hurtful when we are sick and a friend doesn’t come around us.  We naturally look to them to comfort us and show their love to us.  Sometimes people avoid their friends in their times of need simply because they feel awkward and don’t know what to say.  I have seen that many times.  It’s not that they don’t care, but don’t know what to do.  I agree that your friend should have come to you when you needed them, but before you cast away this friendship, consider that they may have stayed away because they simply didn’t know what to do or say.  I encourage you to give them the benefit of a doubt.  We read in 1 Corinthians 13:4-5, “Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,  Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil.”  Charity, or love, doesn’t get upset too quickly and doesn’t think evil or bad about others.

You asked for my advice, so here it is.  I advise you to go to your friend.  Tell him or her that you love them and have missed them.  Ask your friend if there is a reason why they have not come to see you while you were sick.  You may find out that they really wanted to see you after all.  You will never know the complete truth until you talk with your friend.  A real friend is a rare and valuable thing.  Don’t walk away from this friendship until you sit down with your friend and have an open and honest conversation.  You may find that your friend is really a true friend after all.  I’d love to hear from you after you meet with your friend.