OceanSide church of Christ

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Victor M. Eskew


          We all know what it means to have a friend, but to define the word is difficult.  The following definitions have been given by others:


1.     The state of being a friend

2.    A form of love between two people

3.    A preference for a particular person

4.    A single soul dwelling in two bodies (Aristotle)

5.    Two people having a mutual desire for companionship


Each one of the above statements describes friendship, but all of them seem to be somewhat inadequate.  One of the reasons is because friendship is composed of numerous elements.  In this article, we want to briefly look at each one of the elements of friendship.




Definition:  the placing of one’s care into the hands of another, to rely or put confidence in someone

Proverbs 16:28 – A forward man soweth strife:  and a whisperer separateth chief friends.

Quote:  “Lay this unto your breast:  Old friends, like old swords, still are trusted best” (John Webster).




Definition:  the practice of always seeking the best interest of another person

Proverbs 17:17 – A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

Quote:  “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength while loving someone gives you courage” (Lao Tzu).




Definition:  favorable reception

John 8:11 – She said, No man, Lord.  And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee:  go, and sin no more.

Quote:  “A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you” (Elbert Hubbard).




Definition:  the ability or strength to continue or last, especially despite fatigue, stress, or other adverse conditions

Proverbs 18:24 – A man that hath friends must show himself friendly:  and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

Quote:  “A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out” (Walter Wenchell).




Definition:  to bear or hold up, to sustain under trial or affliction

Proverbs 17:17 – A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

Quote:  “Friendship multiplies the good of life and divides the evil” (Baltasar Garcia).





Definition:  mutual exchange, back and forth responsibilities, giving and receiving

III John 14 – But I trust I shall shortly see thee, and we shall speak face to face.  Peace be to you.  Our friends salute thee.  Greet the friends by name.

Quote:  “Friendship is essentially a partnership” (Aristotle).




Definition:  direct and unreserved in speech, straight forward, sincere, without inhibition

Proverbs 27:6 – Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.

Quote:  “My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me” (Henry Ford).




Definition:  the act of sharing feelings with another, especially in sorrow or trouble

Job 2:11 – Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this evil that was come upon him, they came every one from his own place; Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite:  for they had made an appointment together to come to mourn with him and to comfort him.

Quote:  “The rule of true friendship should be mutual sympathy between them, each supplying what the other lacks and trying to benefit the other, always using friendly and sincere words (Marcus Tullius Cicero).




Definition:  a source of satisfaction and pleasure

Luke 15:6 – And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends, and neighbors, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.

Quote:  “We don’t always see each other so when we do its special/fun/exciting” (Anonymous).




Definition:  something that indicates bounds or limits, on time, on emotions, and on resources

Luke 22:31-32 – And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you that he may sift you as wheat:  but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not:  and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

Quote:  “Sometimes being a friend means mastering the art of timing.  There is a time for silence.  A time to let go and allow people to hurl themselves into their own destiny.  And a time to pick up the pieces when it’s all over” (Octavic Bulter).


          One has rightly said that “good friendships are life-enhancing.”  They are a part of those good gifts that come from God (James 1:17).  Most of us will only have two or three close friendships throughout our lives.  Cherish these friendships.  Each night thank God for giving you someone who understands, cares, supports, and accepts you through thick or thin.