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Iron Sharpening Iron
You might have asked, “Why do I need friends?”
While studying the effects of stress, researchers stumbled upon the benefits of friendship for women in times of stress. They found that while all people generally possess a “flight or fight” response to stressful situations, women also tend to exhibit a “tend or befriend” response which drives them to look after children or spend extra time with friends.
Women who gather with their friends more frequently or spend more time caring for their children also experience the added benefit of increased oxytocin production, which helps to further provide a sense of calm and well-being. Research continues, but it appears likely that these benefits exclude men due to the effects of heightened testosterone production when stressed.
However, the Bible addresses another benefit of friendship for everyone. . . .
“If one falls down, his friend can help him up.”
What is Friendship?
- Friendship is a reciprocal relationship of liking and loving between two people.
- Friendship is a mutual emotion based on liking—phileo
——The Greek word phileo means “tender affection.”
——Because of Abraham’s faithfulness to the Lord, he was given the unique title “the friend of God,” a philos of God, not a hetairos of God. . . .
“The scripture was fulfilled that says, ‘Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,’ and he was called God’s friend” (James 2:23).
- Friendship that is mature also includes agape
——The Greek word agape means a commitment to seek the highest good of another, even when a person has characteristics you don’t like. . . .
“God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8).
Grace filled words:
“I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you” (John 15:15).
Additional Scripture: 1 Corinthians 15:33; Romans 16:17; Hebrews 10:24