[W]e all need friends with whom we can speak of our deepest concerns, and who do not fear to speak the truth in love to us.
Margaret Guenther, Holy Listening:
The Art of Spiritual Direction

One of the greatest human longings is to be close to someone.
Kathleen R. Fischer and Thomas N. Hart,
Promises to Keep

All love that has not friendship for its base,/Is like a mansion built upon the sand.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox, Upon the Sand

I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new. Shall I not call God the Beautiful, who daily showeth himself so to me in his gifts?. … My friends have come to me unsought. The great God gave them to me.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Friends," in Emerson's Essays

Here we are, you and I, and I hope a third, Christ, is in our midst. … For what more sublime can be said of friendship, what more true, what more profitable, than that it ought to, and is proved to, begin in Christ, continue in Christ, and be perfected in Christ?
Aelred of Rievaulx, Spiritual Friendship

The holy passion of friendship is of so sweet and steady and loyal and enduring a nature that it will last through a whole lifetime, if not asked to lend money.
Mark Twain, Pudd'nhead Wilson

Try to avoid making mistakes in friendship and we will have no friends at all.
Gilbert C. Meilaender, Friendship:
A Study in Theological Ethics

A friendship which can cease to be was never true friendship.
Jerome, Letters, 3:6

It is more shameful to distrust one's friends than to be deceived by them.
Duc de La Rochefoucauld, Maxims

The most fatal disease of friendship is gradual decay.
Samuel Johnson, "Essays from the
'Rambler,' 'Adventurer,' and 'Idler'"

Do not abandon old friends, for new ones cannot equal them. A new friend is like new wine; when it has aged, you can drink it with pleasure.
Sirach 9:10 (NRSV)

It is easy enough to be friendly to one's friends. But to befriend the one who regards himself as your enemy is the quintessence of true religion. The other is mere business.
Mohandas K. Gandhi,
Nonviolence in Peace and War

Related Elsewhere

Christianity Today sister publication Today's Christian Woman and our parent site's Singles channel both have areas on friendship. Leadership Journal, another Christianity Today sister publication, devoted its Summer 1996 issue to the theme of friendship and accountability.

Past Reflections columns include:

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