This morning in my men’s discipleship group I referenced Michael W. Smith’s classic song, “Friends are Friends Forever”. None of the guys in my group had ever heard of it. I tried to sing it but that made it even worse than it already is.
As I’ve now lived almost 45 years and have been a Christian for 28 of them, I think Michael W. Smith got it wrong. Friends are NOT friends forever. I’m not saying Christian friends won’t live forever in Heaven. But I think it’s unrealistic to think that we can be friends with the same people for a lifetime. Well, maybe we can with one or two?
I used to feel bad when I didn’t keep up with old friends. And let me be the first to admit that I could do better. There are some people that I do want to be friends with forever. You know my BFF’s. But I think God brings different friends into our lives at different seasons of our lives. Just because we don’t keep up with someone who was on our little league baseball team (BTW, I stuck out Brett Favre.) or stood by my side in my wedding, doesn’t mean that we didn’t have a good friendship.
People change. Sometimes we move. We go through different stages of life. We lose touch. God calls us to something else. I am thankful for all the friends I have had over the years and hopefully, I was a good friend. I’m thankful for the friends I have now. I look forward to meeting new friends in the future. And it’s a blessing when God brings old friends back into my life.
I’m not really sure the context of our friendships in Heaven. Will we have a Gulfport High School Class of 1987 Reunion in Heaven? I don’t know. But I do know that relationships are the currency of eternity. The souls of men, women and children are a few of the things that lasts forever. And relationships should be the most important part of our lives. First, our relationship with God. Then, our spouse. And our kids. And our extended family. And our friends.
I am honored to get to share life and ministry with people I love and enjoy. We need to cherish the friendships God has given us. And remember, friendship is a two-way street.