“So, have you decided what gift to buy for Cassie?” Ron asked Grace, as he closed the door.
Grace replied, “I have something in mind but I doubt it will be there in the gift shop.”
“What is it?” asked Ron.
“You will know later,” Grace responded with a smile. Ron quickly turned towards aunty who was watering the flowers and shouted, “Good morning Aunt. Your flowers are really beautiful.”
“Thank you!” Aunt grinned, “Where are you two going?”
Ron shouted back, “To the gift shop. Grace wanted to buy a gift.”
“Watch out for the bikes,” Aunt shouted back.
Ron is Grace’s elder brother.  Grace wants to be undisturbed but Ron is restless. Grace’s smiles are short and sensible. Ron is jovial, so, he always got a smile for everyone.
“I am not a kid anymore,” Grace grumbled. Ron giggled.
“Anyways, Mom gave you the money?” Ron asked.
“No, it is my saving,” Grace put on a wide smile.
“You are thoughtful. I have never thought of saving money for some kind act,” Ron said as he put his hand on her shoulder.
“Common, this is not about a kind act. I wanted to give Cassie something she really likes,” Grace replied.
Ron nodded his head and quickly turned to the milkman and shouted, “Good morning, Mike.” Mike waved his hand.
“How many gifts are you buying this year? You know, I would go mad if I have to buy gifts for all my friends,” Ron laughed.
“Two. Cassie and Ruth. They are my best friends,” Grace replied and turned toward the playground, feeling a little offended.
Ron suddenly noticed Louis, his classmate. He shouted, “When did you come back?”
Louis shouted back. But Ron’s mind was already occupied with the gift shop that was a few yards away. He waved his hand and shouted back that he would see Louis in class.
And they entered the gift shop.
“Hello Ron! What brings you here?” the shopkeeper exclaimed.
“My sister wanted to buy a gift,” Ron replied.
Grace went to a corner to hunt her gift and Ron kept himself busy with the shopkeeper.
After some minutes, Grace came back and placed a cassette on the desk.
“A cassette? Why?” Ron asked.
“Cassie loves this album but she never had a chance to buy. You know, her parents will never give money to buy something like this. She gifted me a set of color pencils on my last Birthday. She knows I love sketching,” Grace replied.
“The gift that I always remember is Tom’s gift. But I don’t know him well. We used to play together in the playground after school,” Ron continued, “I get many gifts but not like the way both of you gift each other. Both of you are lovely.”
Grace looked at him and gave a content smiled and said, “You know everyone in the neighborhood, even the milkman and his son. Your classmates notice you when enter the classroom. You are popular. But it is sad that there is no one who knows what you want. I guess you are lost in the company of the people around you that you never realized you don’t have a friend. You are pathetic. Sometimes I wished to be like you, lovable, make everyone laugh, knows everyone, but you are also lost in your own way. You better get a friend or find someone you can be a friend to.”
Ron was taken aback by his sister’s remark, gave a thought and said softly, “Yes, I was lost.”

This short scene is about what friendship is. We see two different personalities. Ron has so many companies wherever he goes. But when he searched for a friend he has none. Grace was selective, though not outgoing, and has a few valuable friends. There is a danger when we are confident in our selves. The many company can blind us from seeing what friendship is. Or it can harm us. Bible says:
“A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24). So what is friendship?
Friendship is a type of relationship where there is love, acceptance, trust, sharing and accountability. The Bible says, “A friend loves at all times...” (Proverbs 17:17). Basically, in the company of our friends, we can be ourselves.
Some are outgoing, have more smiles, stories to tell, and many company. Some are straight forward, have less word but would show up every time when needed. Some are reserved, have few friends but serious one. Some are calm, have nothing much to talk, and not bothered to keep a friend but loved by everyone. Each one has unique personality. The way to friendship by each person is not the same but the traits of good friendship do not change. So, basically, a person becomes a good friend on realizing the importance and tuning himself to the traits of friendship. Though there are some who do not keep friends. It may be because of fear, circumstances, personal choice or they do not believe it.

Let us see what friendship can do.
Friends help:

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10).
In times of crisis or failures friends can keep us from shame for the world is ready to strip us even after the fall.
Friends keep you strong:
“Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:11-12).
There is a saying, “If you want to walk fast walk alone. But if you want to walk long then walk together.” Friends will keep us walking and strong. In sad and happy times a friend is there to share, in hard times a friend is there to hold our hands, in loneliness a friend is there to give company, but it is pity when there is none to wipe the tears away. So, in all times of life friends can keep us going even when the going is hard.
Friends sharpen one another:
“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17).
A mirror helps us to see how we look. So is a friend too. Friends point out the dirt on the face, help you rub the dirt and clean it till it is gone. We need a friend who sharpens us to be a better person so in turn we do not become a laughing stock or harm ourselves.

Therefore, friendship is important. Some say good friends are worth more than gems. Bible says it is hard to find, “Many a man claims to have unfailing love, but a faithful man who can find?” (Proverbs 20:6). Why having a good friend is so precious?
Let us see some qualities of a good friend from the book of Proverbs, David’s life and Jesus.
Friends correct:
“Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses” (Proverbs 27:5-6).
The words of an enemy can be sweet to our ears but lead us to a trap. A true friend will correct and rebuke when necessary.
Friends counsel:
“Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart and the pleasantness of one’s friend springs from his earnest counsel” (Proverbs 27:9).
A wise friend is there in times of decision making. He counsels you to keep your heart at peace and help you take the right step. It is much pleasant and wise than the many advices.

David’s life:
Family Friends:

“Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, for we have sworn friendship with each other in the name of the LORD, saying, ‘The LORD is witness between you and me and between your descendants and my descendants forever...’&ldquo ; (1 Samuel 20:42).
There are two things to notice here: There is commitment in friendship. A good friend sees and decides in his heart to remain faithful to the friendship he is going to commit himself. Good friendship goes from generation to generation. Good friendship is about sharing your world with your friend. The commitment to be friend is not only to your friend alone but to his family, dear ones and his friends. Proverbs says, “Do not forsake your friend and the friend of your father...” (Proverbs 27:10). Friendship is not all about fulfilling a commitment but living a life together in the same world.
Renewing the commitment:
“And Jonathan had David reaffirm his oath out of love for him, because he loved him as he loved himself” (1 Samuel 20:17).
Friendship needs re-commitment. Things can go wrong at times. But this does not put a stop to friendship. A good friendship makes a comeback and reaffirms the commitment. Circumstances, un-forgiveness and situation may have separated friends but you know friendship is true when you meet after many years and see that things have not change. There is respect and love for the friendship.
Love and care:
“I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother; you were very dear to me. Your love for me was wonderful, more wonderful than that of women.” (2 Samuel 1:26).
David was weeping for his friend Jonathan for Jonathan had died. Jonathan proved his love and care for David by risking his own life, being a King’s son, for the safety of David. Jonathan was there when David needed help. David’s battle was Jonathan’s battle. A loving friend not only shares the happy moments but also the burden of another person.

Jesus words:
Jesus considered us as His friends (Luke 12:4). Jesus showed His friendship with His life.
Jesus chose to love us first:
“We love because He (Jesus) first loved us.” (1 John 4:19).
Loving someone is a decision. It is about loving someone first, no matter who the person is, instead of waiting for someone to change.
Accept one another:
“Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God” (Romans 15:7).
There is no favoritism in friendship. A just friend sees you as you are and not the imperfectness in you.
Lay down his life:
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:12-13).
There is no greater example of true friendship than Jesus Himself who lay down His life for us. A true friend is one who stands by your side with his life for your safety and a good cause, no matter the problems. Jesus saw men in sin so He came down to earth by Himself to rescue us from the punishment of sin.
This is why true friendship is valuable and hard to find.
Love everyone but when you share your world with someone take caution. If we just take a plunge we will harm ourselves. “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.” (Proverbs 27:12). Friends will have influence over our lives. “Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character” (1 Corinthians 15:33). It is important to choose friends wisely, whom we will share our world together.
Like Ron in the story we may be lost and never know what friendship is, though we may have lots of companions. Or we may never bother to keep a friend. But when we give ourselves to it our lives will have new meaning. We have seen what friendship can do. It will help us see what love is, for love is found when shared.

“I went out to find a friend,
But could not find one there.
I went out to be a friend,
And friends were everywhere!”
(Author Unknown)