“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the [one] who falls and has no one to help him up!” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, nlt)
Solomon was a lonely man with few friends when he wrote the verses cited above. He was the richest man in the world. But, as life moved along, he was learning that there was little on earth as valuable as a true friend.
Woody needed Buzz. Shaggy needed Scooby. Spongebob needs Patrick (sort of). And Chuck Noland (Tom Hanks) needed “Wilson” in the movie, “Castaway.” Sure, each of these examples is from pop culture. But, consider these examples as proof-positive that even the secular world gives credit to what King Solomon wrote some 3000 years ago: we need each other.
Where would we be without close, trusted friends? I had a man tell me once as we discussed this topic, “I don’t have any close friends.” My heart hurt for him.
Developing this level of friendship requires somewhat of a paradox. In order to enjoy safety you must first make yourself vulnerable. It’s also work. It requires effort. It’s the old ever-so-true adage: “In order to have friends, you must first be friendly.” Pastor/Author, Doug Fields, wrote, “You can log hours and years with someone without allowing anyone to understand your secret aches, longings, hopes, dreams and fears. You can be surrounded with friends who are essentially strangers. [Should you choose to remain distant and guarded, not allowing access to your inner self from the outside world], you’ll be choosing a kind of inner loneliness for the rest of your life.”
When we do find true friends, what we receive is a gift from God on many levels. Author, George Eliot, once wrote, “Oh, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person; having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but to pour them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then, with the breath of kindness, blow the rest away.”
Thank God for our friends.
Because, as Piglet says, “It’s much more friendly with two.”
Soli Deo Gloria, Nick