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WORLD FRIENDSHIP DAY: IDENTIFY AND CELEBRATE YOUR FRIEND

The first World Friendship Day – International Friendship Day was proposed in 1958 in Paraguay. It was proposed for 30 July in 1958, by the World Friendship Crusade.[3] On 27 April 2011 the General Assembly of the United Nations declared[4] 30 July as official International Friendship Day.  However, some countries, including India,[5] celebrate Friendship Day on the first Sunday of August. In Oberlin, Ohio, world Friendship Day is celebrated on 8 April each year.[6] The exchange of Friendship Day gifts like flowers, cards and wrist bands is a popular tradition of this occasion.[1][2]

Friendship is one of the best aspects of life. Thomas Aquinas wrote, “There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship.”  Having said that, certain friends are certainly much better than others. A real friend and fake friend can be hard to distinguish, but they are very different! “True friends are like diamonds — bright, beautiful, valuable, and always in style.” Whereas, fake friends are like shadows: always near you at your brightest moments, but nowhere to be seen at your darkest hour.

I was really touched by the following story of  sacrifice: Kathy Poe and Esther Kim were best friends. They were also competing to represent the US in taekwondo at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Working through separate sides of the draw they both made it to the final of the Olympic trials. Whichever of them won would go to the Games. Poe however dislocated her knee in the previous match and couldn’t compete. Knowing her friend’s knee would be healed by the Games Esther Kim forfeited the match and her spot on the Olympic team.

“You will have the gold medal around your neck and I feel inside I have a gold medal in my heart,” she said. “There are other ways to be a champion. A real martial artist is a champion everyday in life, too.”1  

This is definitely an incredible act of friendship! However, the greatest love is shown in a friend laying down his life for his friend. This is what Jesus Christ Did for the world. He sacrificed his life to redeem us from si

Most often, we expect much from those around us, to the point that we make them responsible for our own happiness, health and well-being. And when we fail to get what we expect from them, a wave of anguish floods our soul, and we feel disappointed, disillusioned, or filled with hate.  Friends come into our lives for different reasons, and as such, it would do us good to know who our friends are and what position they occuppy in our lives.

As the name suggests, the primary focus of World friendship day is celebrating friendships, old and new. We are born by relationships and into relationships. Therefore, every man would naturally crave for an affection and a sense of belongings. To live above hurt that may be created by unfriendliness, it would be most appropriate to know who your friend is.

For a proper distinction, I will elaborate on the three categories  of friends as classified by T.D Jakes: Constituents, Comrades, and Confidants

Some friends are only constituents:

These are friends who are there for what you are about. They have been attracted to you because you share similar goals. They are only there for the course! They are not there for you but for where you are going. Even though they get into the car with you they are not for you, they are there for the destination. And if they find a faster car, they will leave you because their attraction was your destination, your philosophy, or your course, not you! And you would wonder, ‘So, he or she can leave me?’ Yes, “Some friends do not last…” (Prov.18:24). So, don’t get hurt; some friends are just constituents, not true friends.


Some friends are only Comrades

Comrades are not for you and they are not for what you are for. They are with you because they are against what you are against. Common enemies make strange bed fellows. If it become necessary to hook up with you, they will because they need your help to kill a common problem and as soon as this is achieved they leave you. Your comrade and constituents will always outnumber your confidants. Don’t get them confused: distinguish your friends.


Some friends are confidants

The confidants are the few people in your life that are for and with you.  They are intimately intertwined in your life. They are there to make sure you fulfill your destiny.  They will confront you. They will get in your face. They will get in your business. They will tell you when you aren’t the one wrong. Though finding a confidant is very rare but if you have 2 or 3 of them in a lifetime, you a blessed person.  Even though some friends don’t last, yet, you will never be who God called you to be without a confidant. Don’t get it twisted; distinguish your friends and stay above hurt and hate.

“Some friends do not last, but some friends are more loyal than brothers.” Proverbs 18:24. Even your confidant can fail you! Many are those who still nurse the hurts created by those whom they thought were truly more ‘loyal than a brother’. ‘No one has shown greater love than to lay down his own life for his friends. That’s the height of friendship! Jesus Christ demonstrated this and calls us his friends.

As you celebrate world friendship day, don’t be deceived by fake friends who would only take advantage of the occasion to gratify their selfish desires. Rather, Distinguish your friends and stay above hurt. Get rid of the hurts that your past relationship has caused you. Forgive those who have hurt you and move on because life is beautiful.

I testify that there is no friend like Jesus. He is the most reliable and the truest friend. You can trust him to meet all your needs. A song writer wrote, “What a friend we have in Jesus. All our sins and grieves to bear. What a privilege to carry. Everything to God in prayer.

Embrace Jesus today and bask for ever in the euphoria of his loving kindness.  You are winning! Yes we are winning!

Happy friendship day.

 

GreatMark

 

 

Ref: TD Jakes – Comrades, Confidants and Constituents

1https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friendship_Day

2CNN

 

Mark Ibigbami

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