Posted by: kathryngraves | May 10, 2017

The Fragrance of Friendship

Do you have a best friend? Friendship has several categories, doesn’t it? Casual friends are those we socialize with at work functions or at church. We know them. We consider them more than just an acquaintance, but they’re not in our inner circle. Others are closer to us, and we often interact with them. But only a few are what we would consider best friends.

What makes someone a best friend? It goes beyond similar interests or having grown up together. A best friend is a person who is loyal and trustworthy. You can tell her anything and be confident she won’t tell anyone else. She’s there for you no matter what, and she sticks up for you when others criticize. These are the qualities that push a casual friendship into BFF territory.

Sometimes it takes a crises to find out who our best friends are.

One of our sons got married in another state. As parents of the groom, we were responsible for the rehearsal dinner. The town was small, offering no catering establishments. We were on our own, so we decided to barbecue in a local park. Since we  didn’t have time to actually cook at the dinner, we prepared the food ahead of time, and planned to warm it in the church kitchen while the rehearsal took place.

Two couples, who are friends of ours, traveled to help us with the dinner. They warmed the food in the kitchen. But they didn’t know how to operate the ovens. They put a foil-covered pan of meat inside, set what they thought was a reasonable temperature and time, and turned their attention to other preparations. All at once, the kitchen filled with smoke. It was the meat. When they yanked it from the smoking oven, bits of foil floated in the air. To their horror, bits of foil also lay embedded in the meat.

This was the main course. The dinner started in a few minutes. There was no other source available at 8:00 p.m. in the small town for meat. So the group peered through the smoke and tackled the job of pulling out the bits of foil.

Those of us in the wedding party arrived at the park to a beautifully decorated venue just after the sun set. Candlelight glowed over the happy, excited crowd. Our friends served the guests a delicious dinner. Many compliments came our way on the food. We beamed and sighed. The event seemed a success.

The next day, in the light of day, while we prepared for the wedding, our friends took a closer look at the leftover meat. What they found horrified them. Bits of foil still clung to it. After the wedding, they used casual conversation to check with the bridal party to make sure no one had felt ill during the night. Nobody seemed to notice foil in their teeth.

After the last guests departed, and we gathered back at the home where we stayed, they finally told us what had happened. Since it all turned out okay, we were able to laugh at the antics described. Fourteen years later, we still laugh about the situation.

Only your best friends will go the extra mile (sometimes literally) to take care of you.

What does the Bible say about friendship? Proverbs has a lot to say on the subject. In 17:17 it tells us a friend loves at all times, and 12:26 says the righteous should choose his friends carefully.

We all know that wrong friends can lead to a bunch of trouble and heartache, don’t we?

Proverbs 18:24 says, “There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Siblings can become some of our best friends, but often the rivalry of childhood never seems able to disappear completely.

My favorite verse about friendship in Proverbs is 27:9. “Ointment and perfume delight the heart, and the sweetness of a friend gives delight by hearty counsel.” (NKJ) What do you suppose “hearty counsel” means? God’s Word translation includes a note that this might be “sincere advice.” A best friend will give us advice that is godly and thought-out and in our best interest. She will search resources to find the best answer or solution for whatever it is we need. And I love the comparison of a good friend to the fragrance of perfume.

What does Jesus have to say about friendship? In John 15:15, He says, “I have called you friends.” (NKJ) Have you ever thought of yourself as Jesus’ friend? Do you act like a friend to Him? Are you loyal, do you demonstrate your love for him at all times?

He is that for us. And guess what? He considers our friendship as perfume. Second Corinthians 2:15 says, “For we are a fragrance of Christ to God…” (NASB) The Phillips translation expands on this to say, “We are like a lovely perfume and have the unmistakeable scent of Christ.”

Maybe we should create a new perfume and name it “BFF–Best Friend Fragrance.”

“Still Life”         Pixabay

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