I would like to commiserate with the family of David Adeleke, a.k.a Davido, on the demise of their three-year old son Ifeanyi in a swimming pool accident. The loss of a child is a source of grief to any parent. May God grant you the fortitude to bear the unfortunate loss. In the meantime, bloggers and social media pundits should please stop trying to trend at the expense of the bereaved family.
In continuation of our study of the subject of friendship, we will be considering the acronym of the word itself.
The first thing I found out about true friendship is that it is FAITHFUL. The very essence of this is the covenant factor. True friendship carries the power of a covenant. A covenant implies a life and death dedication. It is never based on the perfection or otherwise of one of the parties involved but on the terms of what brought about the friendship in the first place. It is based more on the purpose of the friendship than the person of the friendship.
When God chose Abraham for a friend, He cut a covenant with him. Abraham was far from perfect, but God remained his friend and consistently kept His side of the bargain. David and Jonathan struck a covenant of friendship. In the natural, the two young men should have had no reason to have anything to do with each other (after all, Jonathan’s father, King Saul, was David’s archenemy). Besides, Jonathan knew that David was going to be the next king instead of him, the heir apparent. Despite these factors, the duo remained faithful to each other with Jonathan even protecting David from his father, Saul, who wanted David dead. Long after his friend Jonathan had died, David kept the covenant alive with Jonathan’s son Mephibosheth.
True friendship is REAL. It puts on no airs. No frills. No pretenses. No desire to impress. What you see is what you get: warts, moles and all. This was the state of Adam and Eve in Eden. They were naked and not ashamed. Can you afford to be real with anyone? Better still, can anyone afford to be real with you? This can only happen when friendship is based on acceptance rather than an assessment based on preconceived expectations.
With a friend, you can let down your guards without feeling vulnerable. In this scenario, it is difficult to birth deceit. A friend praises you when necessary and has no qualms chiding you when necessary. Hear what Proverbs 27:6 says, “The wounds of a friend are given in good faith, but the kisses of a hater are false.” (BBE) Yet isn’t it so true that we often prefer the kisses to the wounds? This is what makes sycophants get good mileage out of our vulnerability.
The story is told of three Bishops of different denominations who decided that they would come together once a week to pray over one another’s burdens. At the first meeting, they all agreed that transparency was going to characterize the meetings. They resolved to pray on any and every issue affecting them. No subject was to be held sacrosanct or off-limits.
The first one got up and spoke about his struggles with sexual immorality especially with members of his congregation. He narrated how many times in the recent past he had been unfaithful to his wife. He needed the others to pray that God would deliver him from this affliction that was guaranteed to tear his church and family apart if it ever became public knowledge.
The second Bishop, encouraged by the level of transparency exhibited by his colleague, went ahead to reveal to the group how he occasionally diverted huge sums of church funds for his own personal use. Several times he even connived with crooked suppliers and contractors to inflate the cost of services rendered to the church.
When it was his turn to speak, the third man calmly said to his colleagues, “To be honest with you, both of you will have to pray very hard. I have no problem in any of the areas you identified as your concerns. My only problem is that when I hear something, I cannot keep my mouth shut!”
Is that you?
No one can put a price on true friendship. It is INVALUABLE. We have often been told by disciples of Machiavelli and exponents of the psychology of power that every man alive has a price. Once you can pay it, you can get anything from anyone. But when you pay for a service and get it, you have no further obligations. True friendship has no commensurate price tag. The scriptures declare in Proverbs 27:9, “Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of one’s friend springs from his earnest counsel.” (NIV)
A childless widower had a dog that was his only companion for many years. Then the dog died. Thoroughly heartbroken, the man decided that the least he could do was to give the dog that had been a faithful companion of many years a decent burial. He went to the pastor of his church to ask if a funeral service could be arranged for the dog. The pastor replied:
“Sorry brother, it is unthinkable. A funeral service for a dog? How preposterous! You can go to the charismatic church down the road. They have some weird practices and ways of worship. It wouldn’t be strange if they would oblige you. But here? No way!”
“That’s ok Pastor. I just thought I should ask. But sir, do you think that $100,000 would be a reasonable offering to give them for doing it?”
“Well brother Joe,” the pastor replied, “you should have told me your dog was a Christian. We’ll gladly do a funeral service for any Christian”!
How much is your friendship worth?
ALSO READ FROM NIGERIAN TRIBUNE
Genuine friendship is ENDURING. It is not a passing fancy. It is not based on a fad that expires when the fad becomes obsolete. As a matter of fact, time tests friendships. Untested relationships are fragile and are easily broken. Most times they are based on ephemeral issues of mutual convenience. Real friendships are tested in the waters of adversity.
If I run into bad weather financially or even spiritually, would you still be my friend? If you hear slanderous things about me, would you still be my friend? If we looked each other in the eye and said some home truths with each of us leaving that point with a bruised ego, could we still be friends?
Some of the best relationships in our lives are those we struck in our childhood years when we had no cause for pretenses or airs and our ego had not yet grown to its present gargantuan heights. Such friendships transcend the barriers of distance and social status. Some of the most enduring and successful marriages were birthed in the innocence of childhood friendships… continued
Remember, the sky is not your limit, God is!