Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other is gold.
-Just beware of the rust.....
Friends are wonderful gifts from God. They help us to form strongly knit units and communities. They help encourage us and keep us accountable. But, there are some people who would try to make us believe that we are their friends simply for their own gain. These are the kind of friends that I refer to as rust. They take, take, take. They are only in it for themselves. They eat away bits of you until they are satisfied or until you stop them. Then they are gone and you see their friendship for what it truly was.
Making new friends is important. You never know who you might befriend. As Christians, it is important that we are friendly people. Even non-Christians can have a role in our lives as ministry friends. One of the best ways to fulfill the Great Comission is to be friendly and reach out to our lost world. This does not mean that we shouldn't address sin, but we should do so in love, as someone who genuinely cares for their soul.
God places different friends in our lives at different times and for different reasons. Some will come and go, but there will always be the couple of true golden friends that stick with you through thick and thin. You can share your pain, your joy, your problems, your triumphs, and so much more because you know that they will help strengthen you in the Lord. And the best kind of friendship is where this works vice versa. In the same way that you rely on them, they rely on you. You can lay hands on one another and pray, outloud and unashamed for each other. These are the best kind of friends.
But let us not forget rust...
More importantly, let us not forget the rust in our own lives.
When someone that I considered to be a friend suddenly turns on me, or starts giving me a cold shoulder, it hurts. Even though it is uncomfortable, it gives us a good oppertunity to evaluate our own lives and see if we also are being selfish in our friendships.
Ask yourself, "Am I in this just for me?"
"Am I encouraging this friend in the Lord?"
"Am I being a giver or a taker?"
Friendship is a wonderful thing. Don't abuse it.