Loyalty and Love are two qualities that best friendships possess. The two guys in this picture are best friends, and oddly enough, their name meanings give a picture of the two ingredients of friendship. They are also the epitome of the scripture on friendship found in Proverbs. They are brother and sister.
Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a difficult time.
Caleb in the Old Testament means dog. Now that might be insulting to some, but if you understand the meaning of dog in Hebrew, it means "Close to the Heart." There are studies that have proven over and over again, the medicine like effects dogs have on a variety of patients. I will focus on one for this particular writing, and that is the physical heart. There are many medical journals documenting the studies, but this Natural News link will tell you in easy
to understand vocabulary, the positive results in canine therapy. We have the old adage that says, "Dog is Man's Best Friend." God knew what he was doing when created living things.
Now the Caleb in the Old Testament was close enough to the heart of God, that he understood the faithfulness of his Creator and trusted in his strength to give victory over a strong people. Out of all the people of Israel, there were only two that trusted the relationship with God to give them victory. This particular story starts in Numbers 13 and then we have a beautiful picture of God's pleasure with his friend Caleb for remaining true in Numbers 14:24.
But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it.
Youngs Literal Translation puts God at saying "Caleb is fully after me."
Does that describe your relationship with God? Jesus said he was our friend, and shared all things with us, so first things first. Before we can be a true friend, we need that relationship with God. He was our friend first, and therefore he was loyal first, and fully followed after us. Do you like a dog, sit at the feet of Jesus desiring his companionship. Is it a joy to be in his presence?
My sweet Caleb can't wait to tell me about his day, what he watched on t.v. or what made him laugh. One day Caleb got in trouble for doing something and used the excuse that his sister told him to do it. His daddy asked him, "If I told you to jump off a roof, would you do it?"
He replied, "yes."
He is loyal, and if you give him relationship, he trusts you totally, and will follow you fully. He seeks to please, and will defend you to the end. He is the first to volunteer to help ,and if you read in Numbers the patriarch Caleb said "lets go, we can take them." A loyal friend will do for you before you ask and be there till the end.
2 Samuel 15:21 But Ittai replied to the king, "As surely as the LORD lives, and as my lord the king lives, wherever my lord the king may be, whether it means life or death, there will your servant be."
Charity like Caleb, has a different Spirit. Charity is found in the New Testament and is also known as love. My sweet Charity is totally independent. True love is independent of what you do for it. True love never gives up, never fails, never lies, and always tell the truth. Ever had a friend say "that looks awful; change." or, "yes you stink; put some deodorant on."
True love believes all things, hopes all things, bears all things and does not bring up the past to use it against you. Do you have a friend that has endured an offense from you? Are you able to do that? True love is patient, kind, is not jealous and will always forgive. Without true love, relationships wont last.
This next scripture is given in 4 different translations to help give a thorough understanding of its meaning.
Proverbs 18:24 There are friends who are friends, and there is a friend that is closer than a brother.
A man with many friends can still be ruined, but a true friend sticks closer than a brother.
A man that has friends must show himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.
A man with friends is to show himself friendly, And there is a lover adhering more than a brother!
I tell my children that if they learn to love the ones they live under the same roof, then they will be able to be anyone's best friend. My boys are taught to respect and defend the little ones with an emphasis on the girls. I point out how they treat their sisters will dictate how they treat their wives. I ask them to think of the times they have hurt or offended a sibling, and how the next day that same sibling seeks relationship through play or conversation. We have seen each other's junk at our lowest point, and still extend grace and acceptance.
I often tell my friends that if they have been in my house messy, then they know they are truly loved because I am confident in their relationship not to judge. If I don't stop you at the door and ask for a weeks notice, then you can be sure I trust you. A true friendship doesn't judge and trusts that will be reciprocated. Love aint fake so to speak.
My little girl, Charity, is confident in who she is and cannot be deterred easily from believing the best about herself or those she calls friends. Her siblings are those she considers her friends. Her brother, Caleb is her pal, and she rarely throws him under the bus. She usually caves and tattles when he has hurt her heart. She doesn't get in the middle of squabbles and offer more dainty morsels to get him in trouble, and she will only speak up about a wrong when directly asked. She doesn't offer incriminating evidence. Remember Proverbs 18:24? One more translation gives us a parallel of friend and best friend. It shows us the lack of the qualities that marks best friendships.
There are "friends" who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.
Many people are afraid of friendships because they have been destroyed before. They seek to protect themselves from future hurt, or maybe they were the one that destroyed a relationship. Asking God for loyalty and true love first in your own heart, will equip you to be a good friend, and discern from those that flatter you just to use you for their own gain. If you have loyalty, you can smell disloyalty from a mile away.
If you choose not to gossip, then you will be disgusted with someone that reveals all they know, (including the messy house) about another. If you worry someone will reveal your ugliest, it probably has something to do with what you practice yourself. We reap what we sow, and what we put into relationship, will often be poured back on us. Loyalty and love are key to possessing best friendships.
Proverbs 16:28 A perverse man sows strife: and a whisperer separates best friends.
- What qualities do you possess?
- Do you follow fully after God to give you the fruit of his spirit to express love in its purest form?
- Do you have to praise yourself for being a good friend, or are there other's that say "that is my friend that sticks closer than a brother."
- Can your spouse say that about you?
If not, take heart. Jesus says if we ask according to his will, then he will give us all that we ask. He is ready to reveal the perfect model of loyalty and love through friendship and relationship. Just like a best friend that tells you everything, he will do the same.
John 15:15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.