19 Mar True Friends
Back in the 90s, there was a song by TLC titled “What About Your Friends” that highlighted the need to evaluate who your true friends are. It was a hip hop, melodic friendship questionnaire that asked about whether or not your friends would stand by you or if they would turn on you and disappoint you. In the song, they rapped about the perils of identifying who their true friends were as they climbed the ladder of success. They wondered aloud about who would stand with them and who would run the other way when things got hard.
During the crucifixion, Jesus must have been singing His own version of this song. As Jesus was hanging on the cross, there is no mention of all the disciples standing nearby. The only one was the one whom Jesus asked to care for His mother. Other than that, there is no mention of Peter or the others. The men who walked with Him daily, who He literally broke bread with and shared His deepest thoughts with did not stand with Him at the end. They betrayed Him, denied Him and ran away and hid when things got rough.
Fortunately, there was a group that did stay by His side at the end. All four gospels mention a group of women that stood off to the side during the crucifixion. Each gospel mentions them by different names and descriptions, but the one thing they all agreed on was that it was, in fact, a group of women. Apparently, these same women, including His mother, had followed Him and were with Him in Galilee. Some gospels specifically mention that they ministered to Him, in that they cared for Him and served Him in Galilee. These women were with Him when things were going well and He was being cheered by the crowds and they were with Him when everyone else had turned their backs on Him.
The power of friendship, true friendship, should not be underestimated. When you need some extra encouragement, true friends are there to cheer you on. When you achieve something great, they are the first to celebrate with you. When you need honest feedback, they are there to offer a gentle, yet truthful critique. When you are down and out, true friends are there to stand with you and to lift you up. Real friends always care and they are always there.
Take some time to evaluate your friendships. First, what kind of friend are you? Are you loyal? Are you there for your friends through thick and thin? When things get hard do you run away and deny your friends or are you there to pick them up? Second, who are your true friends? Who is there with you helping you to celebrate your successes? Who is there for you when things get rough? A woman of honorable distinction understands not only the power of being a true friend but also of recognizing who her true friends are.