Psalm 119:12, 16, 18, 27, 34, 35
"What will make me happy?" we ask often and in a thousand ways. We might acknowledge that, to be happy, we want enough to eat. We want to feel safe. We want to have a goal in life. But most of us, from pre-school through puberty through adolescence, adulthood and old age, most of us would also say that we want a friend--we want at least one person whom we can call our "friend."
The Book of Sirach, with great wisdom, seems to read our minds as it muses over "friendship." There are "acquaintances" and then there are "friends." There are "fair weather friends" who disappear when trouble comes, and "friends" who turn out to be our enemies.
"A faithful friend is beyond price," says Sirach, but how to find friends like that? No, we are not invited to go "online" to a "Friends Website" into which we type all the characteristics of friendship we seek, hoping for a perfect match. The Book of Sirach focuses on one quality--faithfulness--and then provides a sure fire method for finding such a friend: Acknowledge the faithfulness of God to you, and "fear God," i.e., be in right relationship with God by your own fidelity, and, without a doubt, faithful friends will seek you out!
"Birds of a feather flock together," says the old adage: the
Book of Sirach says, "For he who fears God behaves accordingly, and his
friend will be like himself."
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