I have contemplated and mulled over this thought for a couple of years. This idea of becoming and being a friend is pretty special these days in the world we live in today. The definition according to the online free dictionary is:
FRIEND

1. A person whom one knows, likes, and trusts.
2. A person whom one knows; an acquaintance.
3. A person with whom one is allied in a struggle or cause; a comrade.
4. One who supports, sympathizes with, or patronizes a group, cause, or movement:
I guess I’m older now and really assessing the value of true friendships. I remember hearing a message by my pastor some 30 years ago, still ringing in my spirit; “You can’t love someone fully and truthfully unless you love what they love!” What a statement, and in the same breath he said, “You can’t save someone at a distance, you must get close.”
And when you think about it our great friendships have been stained with religious ideologies, that don’t really serve anyone. People are more interested in ‘their thing, their faith, their stuff, etc.’ I fear our friendships have been distorted because there are some if not most that actually think ‘Principles are more important than people’. I do not or ever will but into the idea that your belief and doctrine is more important than people, I am pretty confident in saying that Jesus lived that model over and over.
What Jesus really did in His short time was to show people how important they are to the Kingdom. NOT STUFF. One of the last great revelations He spoke to His tribe was the fact that He saw them as friends. If we would learn to truly love and quit projecting a great something beyond the next hill, we probably would find the garden that we are all looking for.  Beloved there is no higher form of connected Kingdom life outside of friendship. It is truly your gift to humanity. Jesus was actually friend of sinners. He was able to live out the ‘Love the sinner / hate the sin’ because He was a friend first.
Word History: The relationship between Latin amīcus, “friend,” and amō, “I love,” is clear, as is the relationshipbetween Greek philos, “friend,” and phileō, “I love.” In English, though, we have to go back a millennium before we see the verb that we can easily connect to friend. Frēond, the Old English source of Modern English friend, is related to the Old English verb frēon, “to love, like, honor, set free (from slavery or confinement).” Specifically, frēond comes from the present participle of the Germanic ancestor of Old English frēon and thus originally meant “one who loves.” 
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
I love here how the term friend and love are so closely related. I fear that in our culture today that has been tainted and lost in translation. I mean with social media we have now learned how to be a friend without the commitment and love that is necessary to be said friend. I have like 1000 facebook friends, I follow most of the people and interact as much as I can, but I have few friends in the real world that I can bend their ear, share my stuff, or even get a cup of coffee!
With that being said I can’t tell you how many ‘friends’ I have that know nothing about my heart and direction. These are acquaintances I have come to find out. Over the years people have loved my ‘gift’ but not necessarily me. I am sure many people feel the same way. I have learned in my short career that I would never surrender my ‘gift’ to any one or group that didn’t want a relationship to me and my family as a person. At one time in my life there were seven pastors and leaders from five different states that were wanting me and my family to move and be a part of their work. I was so confused, but very excited. You know for once you think your hard work and life’s achievements are paying off. Only to realize these people were more interested in building their own thing. Not one of them actually wanted to know what made me tick, or motivate me. My greatest test and struggles have been the result of pursuing these relationships, only to be stripped and left for dead.
Today I have the most amazing Bishop to my soul. He and his team have loved the ‘hell out of me’. I am learning how to be loved for who I am and not what I can do for a group. Believe me it’s foreign to me so please be patient, I’m facing the light and running towards love. My Bishop is the truest friend I think I have ever known, I aspire to be like him when I grow up! I have known him twenty plus years, and he is so purposeful, and kind. He is one of the few that sat down with me and listen to my story with a heart of pure love, no judgement, but rather compassion and love. No matter where I am in my walk, or where he is in the world; time and time he has texted me to check on me or answer….
I strive to be like him, I haven’t arrived by no means. But I am aware that I have short comings, please remember me in your prayers. Honestly I believe this kind of love is what the Kingdom is all about. I was talking to a friend of mine Sunday, and I said, I hate it that most people run around looking for a miracle or revival, when the real miracle is sitting right in front of YOU! I told him that I was so ready for people to re calibrate their directives. I said, ‘So many people are wanting to be healing etc, yet all I can do really is love; it’s up to God alone to heal’.
I am purposing to become a better friend by becoming easier to love. I am using my ‘Lent’ season to commit to those who call me friend. I mean at the end of the day, isn’t that what everyone wants? To those I have let down, misguided, and left hanging; I do love you very much, but I have a lot of untangling to do. I will fulfill my obligation to be a friend to those who call me that!
MM+
When You Love Someone
when you love someone – you’ll do anything
you’ll do all the crazy things that you can’t explain
you’ll shoot the moon – put out the sun
when you love someone
you’ll deny the truth – believe a lie
there’ll be times that you’ll believe you can really fly
but you’re lonely nights – have just begun
when you love someone
when you love someone – you’ll feel it deep inside
and nothin else can ever change your mind
when you want someone – when you need someone
when you love someone…
when you love someone – you’ll sacrifice
you’d give it everything you got and you won’t think twice
you’d risk it all – no matter what may come
when you love someone
you’ll shoot the moon – put out the sun
when you love someone