The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines ‘friend’ as one attached to another by affection or esteem. Everyone needs a friend; cherished respected and loved as such. There are countless instances where people have introduced their friends to scholarship opening, job opportunities or other social advancement opportunities.

The scriptures enjoin us as young people to make friends with our brothers and sisters in the faith. It is through this friendship that we can spur one another unto love and good deeds, build each other up and encourage ourselves.

The story is told of a young university student who chose to live in isolation, though he had three roommates, and several people in his class. He was asthmatic. He spoke to no one on campus, and even shared nothing with his roommates. He felt he was living in a way that will avoid troubles. One day, he had an episode of asthma attack, and he could call none of his mates because they were not his friends. God being so good, one of the mates had compassion on him and helped him to recover from that attack. This was his point of learning the old adage that everybody needs somebody. He then also began to appreciate the fact that ‘a friend in need is a friend indeed’.

As friends in the Lord, we are to “encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing” (1 Thess. 5:11, NIV). Also, “let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Heb. 10:24-25, NIV).

Care must however be taken in whom we choose as friends as young people. We must make our friends among those who are the friends of God, and once we do this, we must help each other to grow in the Lord.