The FreeDictionary gives several definitions, but I like these the best:
1. A person whom one knows, likes, and trusts.
2. One who supports, sympathizes with (us).
I'll also add:
1. Someone who has our back (who'll support us in good and in not-so-good times)
2. Someone who is interested in us becoming our better selves
3. Someone who loves us enough to tell us when we do wrong
4. Someone who can forgive us when we do wrong and restore the friendship to what it was previously.
These companions are so important to our well-being, that they cannot be chosen frivolously.
And I dare say, that when we get the art of choosing friends wisely, we'll also learn how to choose lifetime partners, wisely, as well.
Proverbs, written by the wisest men on earth - Solomon, had some revealing things to tell us about friendship. Solomon tells us that:
1. A friend loves at all times. (In Context: Proverbs 17:17-18)
2. Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. (In context: Proverbs 27: 5-6)
3. ...A man that hath friends must show himself friendly, and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. (In context: Proverbs 18:23-24)
Sadly, we live in a society, where people readily call themselves friends, but do not exhibit the characteristics of a friend.
Or they believe that friendship goes in one direction - from you to them...never from them to you..
How many times have we had people in our lives, whom when we thought that when we could rely on them, continuously let us down?
But, being true to the friendship, we supported them to the end?
These people are called acquaintances, not friends...because we cannot expect true friendship from them...acquaintances really have no commitment to us.
We must be careful about how we associate with these people...
For they can sap positive, emotional energy from us. These people are into friendship for what they can get...not for what they can give to a friendship.
Thank God, for people in our lives who do understand what friendship means and have been true friends to us.
Who have been there...who are dependable.
Whom when we have great news, they're the first ones who come to mind, to share it with...
Whom we can call to bounce ideas off of.
Who, when we have a problem, we know we can talk to them, knowing they'll give sound advice and who'll not disclose what we've told them.
Who when we are sick...leave the comfort of their homes to visit us, even look after food, to feed us.
They have been like marrow - strengthening our bones, helping to renew and refresh us, as we renew and refresh them.
Let's pray and ask God that He will lead us in making that crucial decision of choosing the right friends.
...But more importantly, that we will learn to be true friends to the friends that He has gifted us with and will gift us with! :)