sometimes i use the terms "friend" and "true friend" as if they hold two definitions. but i was thinking about it, and shouldnt someone worthy of the name friend already be true? yes, we need to place people into different levels or catagories (or whatever you want to call it) in our lives. but it seems to me that the word friend has lost it's meaning; it's value. we call co-workers "friends" because somehow "aquaintance" seems too informal... we throw around the word "friend" because there really isnt anything else to call someone that we know and connect with. our casual relationships are somehow called "friend". and although i do this myself, i dont think i like it. yet, i dont really have a solution either.
as a close friend always says,
"trust is earned. and it is hard to earn, but easily lost."
i have realized that placing people in your life according to how much they have earned is wise and healthy. i am not saying that i have started some formal rating system for my friends on how much "value" they have "earned" with me. i am saying that it is wise to guard your heart. one thing my mom always said when i was little, was that having one good friend is better than a million aquaintances... and although i have always believed that, i now understand it.
“a man of many companions may come to ruin,
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” proverbs 18:24
another verse that i am so in love with is proverbs 27:6. "better are the wounds of a friend, than the deceitful kisses of an enemy." i have realized - even more so recently - that i have some really great friends. the roots are deep. and that verse rings true. better are the wounds of a friend...
another version says faithful are the wounds of a friend.
how much peace is in that word?
i have had friends, and some i poured too much into, without them earning it. but you learn from mistakes. and i have some friends that are true. really true. and i feel extremely blessed at this point in my life, because although i have somehow survived some pretty bad hurricanes, i am coming out realizing that i have a significant number of true and real friends. they have been faithful to me through everything. and i am so grateful. they have been a part of my lifeline. i value and appreciate them beyond words. when i think of them, my heart is glad.
and those people, they are truly worthy of the title friend.