Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (ESV)
9 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. 10 For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! 11 Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? 12 And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
Think back on some of your favorite memories. What are they? What makes them so special? What makes these moments so memorable?
I would be willing to bet that in most cases, one of the things you remember the most about your favorite life moments is who you were with when they happened. Let’s face it: life is better with people who care.
Life is not meant to be lived on our own…
We need friends for companionship. We need them to help hold us accountable. But we also need support that can only be provided by other people–we need friends in the good times and the bad. Take this story for example:
Two campers decided to take a weekend trip. After spending a peaceful first night in the forest, they awoke ready for their day. As they were enjoying their morning coffee, the men suddenly spotted a very large, VERY hungry grizzly bear coming at them. One of the men quickly pulled on his running shoes. “Do you actually think you can outrun that grizzly bear?” his friend asked. “I don’t need to,” he replied. “All I have to do is outrun you!”
Most of us have friends like the one in this story: they will stand by our sides in the good times, but at the first sign of trouble, they take off running–and in the process, leave us for the “bears”! But that’s not what genuine friendship is about.
Did you notice how our verse focuses on the role of friendship in hard times? Most of us want friends like the ones described in this passage–friends who will stick around through “thick and thin”. Unfortunately, it is hard to be a friend like that. Walking through tough times with others can be difficult! So how do we live out the kind of friendship described in this text?
If we are looking for an example of great friendship, we need to look no further than Jesus himself. In the Gospel of John, Jesus tells us:
This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (John 15:12-13)
Jesus showed his dedication to us by giving his life to save ours, despite our sin.
There is no question that Jesus is the most loyal friend we could ask for. Most of us want a friend like Jesus, but we aren’t always willing to be a friend like Jesus. As we strive to reflect Christ in all we say and do, my prayer is that we grow in the love we have for each other–displaying the type of friendship Jesus displayed for us.
Dear Lord, we thank You for the friends that You give each of us. Help us to be good friends to those You bring into our life. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.