Many times lately, I have been reminded by the most trivial events just how rare yet important it is to have real friends. We often call people “a friend” when a more correct term would be “acquaintance”. Perhaps the word friend is used too loosely in our social media society. I hear it tossed around way too much and to some that seems petty to point out but when you are fortunate enough to have one or more true friends, you likely understand how essential it is to save the title for those deserving of it! So, what is the meaning of the word that we so carelessly toss around?
Per Merriam-Webster, a “friend” can have several meanings. In fact, if you read the definition, it does make the word less significant to those who are most important to us. Here are the top 2 meanings:
1. a : one attached to another by affection or esteem
b : acquaintance
2 a : one that is not hostile
b : one that is of the same nation, party, or group
Really? “One that is not hostile”?!? As long as we are not hostile, we are friends? Since I can’t argue with a dictionary, I thought I’d try and find another word that might be more appropriate than friend to describe a few special people in my life. I had no luck. Maybe you can suggest something! Since I failed, I decided that instead, I should use words to describe my opinion of a friend. Those words would include honest, loving, compassionate, caring, thoughtful, dependable and trustworthy. The last three are most important to me. Since God says Love is most important to him, you would think it might be to me. Nope. I guess I figured that if a person really is thoughtful, dependable and trustworthy to me, they would have to love me and I would have to love them. Perhaps that’s naïve but it’s still my belief.