Can two walk together except they be agreed? Am 3:3 (AV)
Emotional fulfilment at all costs is the order of the day. The pressure to conform is on, and it is easy for the Christian to make shipwreck of his life. To the pictorially minded Christian friendship can be geometrically defined. It is -
Vertical and not horizontal
God determined the rapport and affection between Daniel and the chief eunuch, indicating that Daniel's heart's love belonged in the first place to God (Dn 1:9). A Christian's love is firstly to God. It is for the Lord, who knows the end from the beginning, to dispose it as he wills and as he alone knows best, and will `work out'. Friendship sought horizontally and for its own sake is a will o' the wisp that taunts, deceives and takes the seeker into dangerous terrain. `He shall choose our inheritance for us' (Ps 47:4 AV).
Its base is shared by each. Both sides are equal in value and meet at the apex. All our activities individually and together are for his glory. `Thou art the Rock of my salvation' (Ps 89:26). `Grow up into him in all things which is the head, even Christ' (Eph 4:15).
Within a defined circumference
Christian friendship lies within the circle of God's law. Its focal centre is Christ himself. The radius of the circle is at all points constant. No one can say: `God's law does not apply to me, my circumstances are difference'. `If you love me you will keep my commandments' (Jn 14:15)
In parallel straight lines meeting in infinity
The lives of Christian friends lie in parallel. They go in the same direction, side by side, yet without preventing each other from running a straight course. They are destined for eternity , and they live in the light of that perspective. `I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus' (Phil 3:14).
In outgoing concentric circles
Friendship that faces inwards is exclusive, selfish and self-destructive. Friends who stand back to back, however closely, are out-looking and out-reaching. Their love and warmth is inclusive of others, and theirs is an expanding usefulness and an ever-widening circle of influence. `God so loved the world that he gave...' (Jn 3:16)
Lord, take and keep my heart's love, and as you know the end from
the beginning dispose it only as you know best. Keep me and my
friends within the circle of your love and teach us always to live
in the perspective of eternity.
Further reading: Study the references quoted.