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.’” Then David left, and Jonathan went back to the town.
- 1 Samuel 20:42
In a circle of true Friends each man is simply what he is: stands for nothing but himself. No one cares twopence about any one else’s family, profession, class, income, race, or previous history…That is the kingliness of Friendship. We meet like sovereign princes of independent states, abroad, on neutral ground, freed from our contexts.
- C. S. Lewis, The Four Loves
This is so well said. Have we lost the concept of friendship all together? We seem to do the opposite of what Lewis describes here.
The horror of the Same Old Thing is one of the most valuable passions we have produced in the human heart — an endless source of heresies in religion, folly in counsel, infidelity in marriage and inconstancy in friendship.
- C. S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters
Have you ever dropped an old friend because they are boring? If so, when you realize that the next friend is also boring, you might want to look in the mirror. Sorry, that might have been a little blunt, but we make friends like we treat God. We ask, “What is in it for me?” without thinking of the ‘friend.’
…I cannot quite understand why a man should wish to know more people than he can make real friends of.
- C. S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy
A question: How many ‘friends’ do you have on each social media platform? Another question: How many of those friends, or people that you know at work, school, or church, value your friendship based on the number of likes that you get or the number of ‘friends’, ‘followers’, etc.? Back to a previous question: Have we lost the concept of friendship altogether?
If he (the subject of temptations) is a big enough fool you can get him to realise the character of his friends only when they are absent; their presence can be made to sweep away all criticism…
- C. S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters
Of course, this is the demon Screwtape talking to Wormwood about tempting the ‘Patient’ So, the temptation to find fault in a friend only comes when that friend is not part of the group that is talking. Is that not a fairly good definition of the word “Gossip”?
If we are going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes find us doing sensible and human things — praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts — not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs. They might break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds.
- C. S. Lewis, On Living in an Atomic Age
In Lewis’ day, the big scare was nuclear annihilation. Funny, in all the fear spreading around the globe today, we are, in many cases, afraid of our leaders, but no one remembers the old nuclear fear. These leaders that we fear have the key to the red button. Yet, I wonder if half the nuclear weapons in today’s arsenals, on any side of the argument, might be duds. You know that radioactive material decays, making the bomb less potent. But I am with Lewis here. My pint might be root beer or flavored water, but I’d rather have a few friends, just enough to really be friends with, and share a pint and a game of some sort. Huddling under a desk, in a fallout shelter, or other place of fear is not my cup of tea. I have read the book of Revelation. A lot of bad things happen. No matter how much “man” does to stop it or slow it down, the bad stuff gets worse. Then Jesus returns. Take Billy Graham’s suggestion. Read the last page of the Bible. It all turns out good – very good.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.