Friendship, Part I

I’ve been pondering lately about the value of friendship: What defines it, what makes it different from other, shallower relationships.

In this part, I’ll address some of the spiritual aspects of friendship.

There are a few passages in the Bible that illustrate friendship. The example that most stands out to me is David and Jonathan in 1 and 2 Samuel. Other references to and maxims about friendship can be found in the Writings (e.g., Proverbs, Psalms).

This July, while I was in the Netherlands, I read several passages in Proverbs and composed a poem based on them. It expresses well the feelings I have toward my friends.

A Faithful Friend

Thy reproach, O friend, is faithful.
What have I to do with the flattery of mine enemies?
They are as naught to me.

The gifts thou hast given me
Endear thy soul to me
And arouse my deepest gratitude.

Though calamity rage and my brother be far,
Thou dost stand close; thou lendest thy strength
To succor me.

What is thy counsel but sweetness to me
That rejoiceth my heart
And sharpeneth my countenance?

Thy counsel, thy strength, thy gifts—
My heart doth soar in thanksgiving to my Maker
For His gift—a faithful friend.

Based on Proverbs 19:6; 27:6, 9, 10, and 17

The counsel, advice, even rebuke of my friends is always done in love. Because I feel that love and know that their intention is to help me become a better person, I accept it gladly. My friends have given me gifts of many types. Most often it was simply spending time with me or giving of themselves in some simple way to help me. They have stood by me in the good times and in the hard times.

Indeed, supportive friends have helped me become the person I am today. They have helped me develop spiritually in the way that was best for me. It has been especially rewarding to reunite with them after we’ve been separated for two years all over the world.

3 Responses to Friendship, Part I

  1. Nate Bundy says:

    to my friend, and brother, Steven, you are truly an amazing man, I had the pleasure of being with you in the Netherlands, and serving the Lord with you in many aspects. I enjoyed the constant companionship that I had with you, it seemed that no matter how far away we were, we always stayed close at heart.
    people often speak of “great men” and “mighty men of valour” I would like to speak of my friends, these mighty men, my heroes, they are the kind of men, that stand with you, that always seem to know what you mean, even if you don’t. they are the servants of God. such is the brother, that I have found, in Steven Nay

  2. Sarah says:

    I feel exactly the same way. I love my friends so much, and I know that no matter what they do, it’s because they do care about me.

    I love your poem – it expresses exactly how I feel about my friends, the kind of friend I wish to be. Thank you for sharing.

  3. ucgmikebennett says:

    Thanks for your poem and for sharing it with the readers of Forward to the Kingdom!

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