"Friends of the Heart" by Stanley Ott; www.buildingoneanother.org, e-Volume 5, No. 40, 10/3/2006
Keywords: friendship, companion, love
Scripture: John 15:5
In this day in which we lead very busy lives, we tend to have fewer close friends than we did ten years go. Consider two kinds of friends: friends of the road and friends of the heart.
A friend of the road is a friend who walks life’s road with you. You are next-door neighbors or work in the same office or attend the same school or church. You genuinely love your friends of the road. However, when the road ends, when one of you moves away or leaves the office or the place you shared life, the friendship of the road coasts to an end.
On the other hand, there is a chemistry, a bond, between friends of the heart such that when the road ends, the friendship continues. It makes no difference if you are 10,000 miles apart and haven’t seen one another for years, were you to get together, it would be as though no time had passed. ”Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself.” I Samuel 18:1*
Make the decision to have as many friends of the road as possible and to pray that several of those friends move off of the road and into the heart.
Two of the most fruitful ways I have seen to move friendships into the heart is to invite people to share a meal with you and to study the Bible with you. There is something sacramental about a shared meal that deeply bonds people. In a similar way, there is something about the experience of Bible study when a few people engage in the practice of Word-Share-Prayer that grows friends of the heart.
Jesus said, “I have called you friends.” John 15:15 Praise God for your friendships, both of the road and of the heart. Ask our Lord’s encouragement as you grow new ones.