What is a True Friend These Days?
A true friend prays to God for his friends. A true friend cares for the salvation and the souls of his friends. Persuade friends to step away from false paths and stir them to the paths of truth- that is the true and precious friendship.
Saint Bishop Nikolaj
Lately, as an 18-year-old girl getting ready for college, I have been reexamaning many things in my life. One of those things is my friendships. I have taken a step back and examined all my friends or what I seem to call my friends. And I asked myself, “Who in fact is my true friend?’
A few weeks ago, I came upon the quote by Bishop Nikolaj Velimirovic, and he showed me the Orthodox definition of what a friend is and what a true friendship is, and he was absolutely right. A true friend is someone who cares for your salvation as much as they care for their own. In a way, a true friend should be like God. A true friend should be there for you whenever you need them, a true friend should give you advice and lead you towards the path of righteousness, a true friend should be someone with understanding and, most of all, forgivness. A true friend should forgive your mistakes just as God forgives all of ours.
Keeping this definition in mind, I looked at my own friendships, and fortunately, I found I have a few friends like that in my life. I have friends who are there for me 24/7, listening to my problems, giving me advice, and stirring me back to the right path when I fall off of it. Two of those friends have been with me for the past seven years of my life. And my third friend is a very unusual one. It is an Orthodox girl from Greece who I have started talking to over her blog. We have poured out our hearts to each other, and given countless advice to help us evolve on our spiritual paths.
I am blessed to have three friends that I can call my true friends. Sometimes, it is difficult to have one person that we can call a true friend. However, I think the most important thing is to make sure that we are that true friend Bishop Nikolaj was talking about. We have to be there for our friends and help them reach salvation. A true friendship only works if both friends give 100%, and that is what we have to make sure we do.