HAVING a true friend adds a lot to the joy of living. People who are “loners” and avoid others are rarely, if ever, really happy. What is there about friendship that adds so much to your happiness?
Doing something with a friend seems to multiply the enjoyment of that particular experience. Jesus once told of a shepherd who found his lost sheep and of a woman who found her lost coin. Each one called in friends, saying, “Rejoice with me.” (Luke 15:6, 9) Yes, you normally want to share good things with companions, and your delight seems to double as a result. Haven’t you experienced that?
On the other hand, when things don’t go well and you feel depressed, a good friend can do a lot to relieve your sadness. Friends can be a real help when trouble threatens. They can warn you of danger and help you to escape it, and can encourage you when the going is hard. You probably can agree with what Proverbs 17:17 says: “A true companion is loving all the time, and is a brother that is born for when there is distress.”
That scripture emphasizes a quality that strongly marks real friends: Loyalty. Being a friend means more than just acting friendly. A genuine friend is loyal to you and to your best interests. Are your friends like that?