Friendship is a symbiotic relationship between two or more persons with no strings attached. There is mutualism because each party denies his or herself for the benefit of the other. In the Bible, there are many examples of friends ranging from David and Jonathan to Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to mention a few. However, the greatest friendship we see in the Bible is that between Jesus and his disciples which has been transferred to us and Him.
Friendship is not something that is built in a day; you don’t call everyone friend. The bible says “a true friend sticks closer than a brother” (Prov 18:24 CJB). Someone met in just one day hardly sticks closer than a brother. Friendship usually graduates from one level to another and gets stronger by circumstances and as days roll by. There are strong emotions of genuine love. This love can be betrayed at times but should never be lost; trust may need to be regained, but love should never be lost in the first place.
The relationship between Jesus and his disciples has just been a teacher-student or master-servant relationship. However, after coming along with Jesus for a long time, such relationship grew into a friendship relationship – “I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you” (John 15:15-16 NIV). At this point of Jesus’ relationship with his disciples, there was a deep sense of purpose attached to this relationship and in the proceeding verse, He tells them that they became friends so they could bear fruit.
Every friendship has to be rooted in purpose. You can love everybody but you cannot be everybody’s friend. This is because in friendship, there is purpose. If you are somebody’s friend because he is charming, you are in the wrong boat. You befriend someone because God has a purpose for that friendship. David and Jonathan were friends to achieve destiny; Daniel and the 3 Hebrew boys were friends to strengthen their faith. Purposeful friendships are important as no man was created an Island. In the long run, purposeful friendships always lead to destiny fulfillment. When two or more people come together, it would be easier to accomplish purpose. Eccl 4:9-11 CJB says “Two are better than one, in that their cooperative efforts yield this advantage: if one of them falls, the other will help his partner up — woe to him who is alone when he falls and has no one to help him up”. God intends for us to have friends. However, such relationships should be bounded by purpose and love.