(Colossians 4:7-18)

What makes a person a ‘friend’? My dictionary tells me a friend is ‘a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.’ How often does one need to connect with a friend for them to be a ‘friend’? I have several friends who I may not connect with for some time, but when we do, we seem to pick up where we left off. Others I’ve known had been more than mere acquaintances, but somehow, life has separated us and we no longer communicate. I have had some friends where it seemed that I was doing all the work and when I stopped chasing them up, we no longer met…

But I have two or three friends I meet regularly; over coffee or the phone. These are the ‘stayers’, the few men I can rely on to be available any time. And I’m always available for them. We have weathered several storms together and now trust each other completely. I guess you have the same kind of relationships with your friends. You may even have a ‘BFF’. I know someone who has several BFFs’! It is wonderful to have friends and it is wonderful to be a friend.

Today we draw our studies on Paul’s letter to the Colossians to a close. And we see Paul turning to more personal matters – greetings between a church fellowship he has never visited and the Christian friends they now have because they know Paul. Paul was a great friend-maker. Paul made friends and was also a good friend to others. In his letters, he lists more than 100 men and women who came around him providing news from churches, love and practical support. And he prayed for his friends.

Prayer strengthens relationships, both with God and our friends. Do you pray for your friends?