True Friends

I think we all at some point in our lives confuse friendship with fraternisation and socialisation. That one fraternises or socialises with a person doesn’t automatically make such fellow your friend. If you do not learn to distinguish social buddies from true friends then you have set yourself up for a very huge disappointment, so it is highly imperative you know how to categorize your friends into the different groups available.
The Bible rightly separates friendship into categories. There are true friends it says in {Proverbs 18:24 KJV}”…and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother”. In other words if your so-called friend takes off in your time of trouble – abandons you, lets you carry all the burdens alone, then you need to have a rethink because he’s obviously not a true friend. If he distances himself from you in your dark hour, he’s not a true friend either. A true friend is loyal. If you ever run into trouble and your “friends” are found wanting then it would be my advice to you to review your sociology.
Most of the times the trials of life are usually ‘friends-list’ editing exercises so you should not feel bad or let down when people you thought were friends suddenly realised that they have an important engagement elsewhere when you needed their presence, time, opinions the most.
And peradventure your friend is after your destruction or pursuing your ruination he can’t be your friend. According to the NLT, “There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.” True friends are not jealous of each other either. They only sharpen the competitive instinct in one another, without jealousy. If you therefore notice tendencies of envy in a so called “friend” you had better had a chat with your legs and run! Cain slew Abel out of envy remember! Envy is irrational because sin controls the envious. Please know your true friends! And you really have to be careful about the type of friends you keep. An African apothegm states that the sheep that fellowships with hyenas will develop a taste for the unsavoury.
We’re semi-permeable membranes (as biology would have us believe, that’s my area of specialisation by the way ‘grins’) subject to osmotic principle. We are prone to imbibing wrong values when exposed to concentrates…simply put evil communication corrupts good manners.
Have you ever sat down to consider the ways and acts of politicians who refer to themselves as friends yet proceed to smear each other? This also is the kind of friendship obtainable in the business world, it’s simply called “political friendship” (imagine that). It is totally interest based. You can call it friendship of interest if you like.
In politics they say there are no permanent friends and no permanent enemies. Just permanent interests (laughs, we live in a world of deceit). Once you understand this operating philosophy you won’t get disappointed. It means someone who blocked your contract yesterday can seek your help tomorrow, without remorse or shame. When Solomon said friends come and friends go…, he was simply referring to these kinds of “friends”. They are fair weather friends. They come and go. They move in and out of your life in a whiz.

From king Solomon’s statement we can see that true friends don’t come in bulk unlike political “friends” who are always a plurality. Your relevance is all that matters to political “friends”. If you’re relevant they’ll surely associate with you. If you’re no longer relevant they pack their bags and just move on. And once your relevance returns you can be sure they’ll come back to you, like they never left in the first place. That is the way of the world my friend. Don’t take it personal though just pray God make you relevant and important.
And so for practical purposes we have three types of friendship: There’s social friendship – drink and party buddies, this type operates within social context. No real attachment. No depth.
There’s “political” friendship as explained before, it’s a friendship of self-interest. No loyalty there.
Then there’s true friendship, in which loyalty is prized and valued.
You only need to recognise these other “friendships” for what they represent but do not imbibe their values. You only take cognition of them so you don’t have false expectations and don’t get bitter. Preserve your core. Preserve your values. Fear God. Develop character. Have integrity. Be loyal. You’ll definitely need wisdom to navigate the treacherous terrain of the political and business world and that is why you need to pray to God for wisdom.
By now you’ll also have noticed there are “politicians” in your workplace, classrooms, neighbourhood, hostel etc in fact they are everywhere, just be wise enough to pick them out. They specialise in eye service. They appropriate other people’s efforts and are very mindful of where the pendulum is swinging.
Life demands you relate and negotiate with them but you’ll be damned if you put faith in such people. Watch out for hidden agenda. We all wish the world is made up of saints but it’s not and never will! You have to deal with reality, work with reality.
So concerning relationships or marriages, you should try very hard to always remain true friends with your partner. That friendship will determine your marriage. When friendship breaks down in a marriage, pretty much else fail to hold. Friendship is like a soul glue. A friend sticks, close. (closer than a brother according to Solomon). Your wife/partner should be glued to you. Let nothing separate you. Not even fights!
Someday the sun, the moon, the stars will be too dim for your old eyes. Someday your legs will start to tremble, your shoulders will stoop. Someday your few remaining teeth will stop grinding, sounds will grow faint. Someday you’ll become fearful of falling, your body will become fragile; you’ll no longer inspire sexual desire. Someday your hair will turn white, like an almond tree in bloom. Someday…
In those somedays, all you’ll have left is the love and friendship of your wife/partner and the memories of this life.
I wish you all the best in your decisions!


About Bamigboye Olayemi

Whatever you do or wherever you find yourself, try to make a difference, try to live a purposeful life by helping others in your own little way because that is all we should all aspire to do in this chaotic world that we find ourselves...we are here for all of us.
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