Let’s cut to the chase. I’m saying that I know first hand what it is like to care deeply for another man in a way that competes with the great friendships of history—the Butch and Sundance’s, the Batman and Robins, the David and Jonathans—all of them. I not only know that it is possible, I know that it is what our creator intended. It’s all through the Bible. Consider just a few verses like, Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Romans 12:10, or, 2 Peter 1:5&7, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. And also, A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24.
I could go on and on and on. Deep friendship and community is a lot of what the Bible is all about, beginning with the relationship that God wants to have with each of us, but you don’t see this much today.
Instead, you hear a whole lot more about groups of guys like the Brat Pack, or the people that seem to live at the bar named ‘Cheers,’ or the three derelicts guys on the TV show, Friends. Their friendships seem to be more about what they can do for each other’s popularity, or trading barbs, but you almost never get the feeling that these guys care about each other. In the Bible we learn that the greatest love anyone can have for another is that they would lay down their own life for their friend if it came to that. Do you think George would do that for Seinfeld? Or Ross for Joey? Actually, I don’t get the feeling they’d even give up a paycheck if it came down to it. Even if
The friendships being portrayed in the movies and on TV are more from convenience than real bonding and love. When the shows have had their run, or the season ends, everyone goes their separate ways—even if they’ve spent nearly every single day of the last ten years together! I’m sure it’s not what they all want to happen, but it does every time, like clockwork. I wonder if they don’t reassure themselves on some level that the real deep meaningful relationships of life are just around the corner, perhaps when we get a little older, or, things settle down a bit. But it never comes. Most men get into their upper years and can not point to one friendship that really made a huge difference in their lives. Most Butch Cassidy’s never find a Sundance…
Continued in tomorrow’s post