A friend is someone we trust more than any other. With friends we feel free to share our thoughts, our feelings, our foibles. We aren’t friendly with strangers because we don’t know if we can trust them. We don’t know how they’ll react to the things we think, say, or do. We are unsure whether or not they’ll like us, approve of our views or feelings. With strangers we aren’t familiar, comfortable.

          We all naturally want to be around friends who make us comfortable-trusted confidants who like us and approve of how we are living our lives. A friend is someone with whom we are:

          F . . . free to be ourselves with-just the way we are!

          R . . . ready to share-even our most private thoughts!

          I . . . inspired when feeling down-they lift us up and shape our perspective of life!

          E . . . eager to interact-to listen as well as talk!

          N . . . never going to grow cold in affection-no matter what!

          D . . . deeply changed-friends actually become part of who we are!

                Friends are powerful influences in our lives. No wonder God warns us about choosing our friends carefully: “You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with this world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again, that if your aim is to enjoy this world, you can’t be a friend of God.” (James 4:4).