“When it comes to friends, I’d rather have 4 quarters than 100 pennies.” When my children were growing up, I taught them to value their true friends, and to be a true friend themselves. They learned that true, lasting friendships were often mingled in with many acquaintances, and even a few false “friends.” And the test of time proves which friends are the “quarters.”
Most of us have known peers who seem to make friends everywhere they go, it looks effortless. And for the quiet, shy ones who struggle to make a friend, envy often creeps in just watching as they talk and laugh with their newest “friend.” It seems everyone wants to be around them, and truly likes them.
There is nothing wrong with being an outgoing and enjoyable person to be with. Many of us are blessed to know these individuals. They make us feel at ease and seem interested in what we are saying in conversation with them. But no one can truly be a close and lasting friend with a large number of people because to truly be that type of friend takes time and energy, and we only have so much of these things to give to those in our life.
The Book of Proverbs, filled with wisdom for all areas of life, points us in the direction of a true friend and warns us of the pitfalls of having unreliable friends: “One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24 NIV) Words are easy to say, but a true friend shows by their actions that they are loyal: “Many people will tell you what loyal friends they are, but are they telling the truth?” (Proverbs 20:6 Living Bible)
Time spent with someone will show whether they are a true friend. Seeing people in different situations brings out their character, and God’s Word is our reference. Cherish those true friends He brings to you, and remember that the value is not in how many friends you have, but in how many are true, loyal, and faithful.