The elder, To my dear friend Gaius, whom I love in the truth. –3 John 1:1
As I look back over my life, I can trace a list of friends, best friends, whom I couldn’t imagine not seeing on a regular basis. First there was Rob, who lived across the street from me. We were best buds up until about fourth grade, when he moved to a different part of town. Then came several years of Tony. We were inseparable from fourth grade until high school. When Tony and I ended up at different school, Scott stepped in to finish high school. Shawn filled some of that time as well. At school there was Roger and Joe and Larry. There was Dan, with whom I rode to school every day for five years.
Which of these friends from the past have I stayed close to? None of them, to tell the truth. Rob is my optometrist. I see him annually. Tony emails now and again. I haven’t seen Scott for ten years. Shawn has apparently dropped off the planet. I joined the same church as Roger ten years ago. We agreed that we needed to get together, but we never did. Larry and I talked once after high school–just once. Joe and Dan have gone on to their reward.
As I look back over my salvage yard of friendships, I wonder what the problem is. Perhaps I should note that one other friend, my best friend for life, Penny, dates from those years. What was the basis of those friendships? I suppose it was Batman and G.I. Joe’s, baseball and rock music. In the cases of the school it was just unpopular guys who banded together in the face of the popular.
A friendship based in Christ, in the truth, is a true friendship. As I look at Christian friends who have drifted in and out of my life over the years of my life, I recognize that friendships based “in truth” will endure. No, they may not remain as active as they once were, but they will endure. While I’m fairly certain that I could not resurrect the friendship I once had with Shawn, I have seen dormant Christian friendships spring back to life. I’m also convinced this is why my marriage to Penny is so permanent and marvelous.
You have friends, but what is the field in which those friendships grow? Let it be the truth.