You’ve Got a Friend

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There have been so many “Friend” references in songs, poetry, and in writing that when I was given the opportunity to blog about friendships, so many references came to mind.  As a matter of fact, there were some that have remained playing over and over in my mind.  I’ve heard the title song to the 1980’s television sitcom “The Golden Girls”, “Thank You for Being my Friend” written by the late Andrew Gold.  Then there is the James Taylor hit, “You’ve Got a Friend” written by Carole King in 1971.  Carole King once stated, “the song was as close to pure inspiration as I’ve ever experienced. The song wrote itself. It was written by something outside myself, through me.”

Then there is the poem “You” written by Peter Finlayson which simply reveals that a friend in need is a friend.  Period.  This goes against the typical cliché we’re all used to hearing.  We need to be the type of friend that we would want reciprocated back to us. There’s also the classic fiction novel, “The Last of the Mohicans” written by James Fenimore Cooper.  A lot has been said about friendships.  I could go on and on…

I believe one of the reasons there are so many references about friendship is because building friendships is one of the greatest tasks in life.  I’ve heard others say that success is measured in the number of friends a person has.  I don’t really know if that is true, but what I do know is, friendships are important, and if you don’t build them early in life you may end up pretty lonely later on.

I have been blessed with a good many friends.  Some of them are very close friends.  Very close friends are few in number.  Not because I choose to label each level of friendship, rather God places certain friends in your life so that, through them, you can be discipled and learn from them.  When I think about this, I’m flabbergasted.  What I’m saying is that before time began, my Heavenly Father purposed these very close friendships to be a part of my life.  He ordained them. And this includes my precious wife who God gave to me as His gift to complete His will for my life.  I am forever grateful for God’s gift to me and our life together.  She has blessed me beyond measure with her love, her wisdom, her prayer covering, and her friendship.

Why do I need awesome friends?

Friends are there for my spiritual growth.  I know that I cannot grow into spiritual maturity by myself.  I must have friends to help accomplish God’s purpose for my life.

They are there for emotional support.  My life is filled with mountains and valleys.  Life in this world is hard and the journey is long.  I need companions.

I need friends for my health.  The Bible talks about this.  Friends give you a place to unload your negative emotions.  James 5:16 says, “Admit your faults to one another and pray for each other so that you may be healed.”

I need friends for my social well-being.  Life is meant to be enjoyed, not merely endured.  Friendships are the bedrock of a satisfying life.  If your relationships stink, life stinks.

And lastly, I need friends to help me reach my goals.  I cannot fulfill the goals of my life without friends.  They are my support team.  As a project manager in my job, it was important to select the best team for the project to help bring about a successful completion of the work.  The Bible says, “Two people are better than one, because they get more done by working together.” Ecclesiastes 4:9 (NCV)

The song recorded by James Taylor, “You’ve Got a Friend” says this in the lyrics.  Some have said that when Carole King wrote the lyrics she was speaking outside of any inside personal enlightenment. She wrote from an outside source.

When you’re down and troubled
And you need a helping hand
And nothing, nothing is going right
Close your eyes and think of me
And soon I will be there
To brighten up even your darkest night

You just call out my name
And you know wherever I am
I’ll come running, oh yeah baby, to see you again
Winter, spring, summer or fall
All you’ve got to do is call
And I’ll be there, yes I will
You’ve got a friend

Friend, no pun intended, friendships are important and fighting for awesome friendships is worth our effort.  Everything I’ve written can be summed up in one phrase of Jesus: Love your neighbor as yourself.  Love people as much as you love YOU.  Love people the way you want others to love you.  Be a friend that you would like to have.

I would be wrong not to say that my best friend is my Savior, Jesus Christ.  He picked me up, dusted me off, saved me and gave me life.  He died for me so that I would live.  I’m reminded as I write this of the hymn written in 1855 by Joseph Scriven, “What a Friend we have in Jesus”.  Jesus is there for our sins and grief, our trials and temptations, when we are weak and heavy-laden.  He is our refuge and our precious Savior.

To hear a powerful and impactful message from Pastor Aaron Taylor on Fighting For Awesome Friendships, click the link to the podcast below.

http://painesvilleag.com/awesome-relationships-2

To my awesome friends everywhere, I cherish our friendship.  To my very close friends, I cherish the times when we talk and listen and never judge.  We’ve wept and shouted for joy.  Thank you all.  You are very important to me.

George Leonhardt,
Writer/Blogger

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