Friendship is really important. We sing a lot about being friends. University of McGill neuroscientist, Daniel J. Levitin, in his bestseller, The World in Six Songs, argues that six types of songs have played a central role in the development of the human brain and human society: love, joy, comfort, knowledge, religion, and friendship.
For decades we have been listening to songs about friendship: With a Little Help from my Friends (Beattles, 1967); You’ve Got a Friend (Carole King, 1971); That’s What Friends are For (Stevie Wonder, 1985); You’ve Got a Friend in Me (from Toy Story, 1994); Count on Me (Bruno Mars, 2010); Real Friends (Kanye West, 2016); It’s Nice to Have a Friend (Taylor Swift, 2019).
The dominant idea in these songs is that you need friends. You can count on them when you need them. The songs reveal a transition from singing about friends who will be there for us to a search for real friends. The question is: Is there anyone out there we can count on? How would the wisdom writers of Proverbs talk about friendship?
• Treasure true, reliable friends
• Befriend people for who they are, not for what they have
• Cover offense with love
• Choose wounding friends
• Be the true friend you want others to be to you
Questions for reflection:
- What aspect of friendship do you need to think about?
- Do you think more about your need for good friends or for the need for you to be a good friend? How could you become a better friend?
- What does it mean for you personally to have Jesus as your friend?
- How have you experienced the Holy Spirit inspiring and enabling you to be a good friend to someone?