There is no one who may not have a friend ; and that there should have been so many heart-breaking experiences in the loss or lack of friends is due to ignorance of what constitutes friendship and to the mistaken foundation upon which it is so often placed. Generally speaking, one expects to find his friends among those who have the same social or business interests, like experiences or religious beliefs; but when based upon personal association and attachment, or confined within the narrow limits of human relationship, friendship all too often decays and is lost. In "Retrospection and Introspection" (p. 80) Mrs. Eddy says, "There are no greater miracles known to earth than perfection and an unbroken friendship."

Is our desire to have a friend prompted by what that friend will mean to us? Too often we love in proportion as we are loved. "You be a friend to me and I'll be a friend to you," selfishness bargains. Yet true friendship possesses no element of self and makes no personal demands. When the Master asked Peter if he loved him, the only proof he required had nothing to do with himself. "Feed my sheep," he pleadingly urged. If we would have a friend, we need first to learn how to be one, for the motive of friendship is to bless, to give, not to get, and it is known by its fruits. Lavishly though wisely, then, let us reflect love, asking nothing in return save a closer acquaintance with God, and we shall discern that true friendship is the reflection of divine Love.

All students of Christian Science speedily learn that friendship is not a question of persons but of consciousness, and true friendship is always under the government of spiritual law. Such friendship is expressed in the impulses of kindness, tenderness, and self-forgetful love. These are the elements of spiritual affection ; and how they enrich and enlarge our lives! Generously exercised, they nourish immortal cravings, unfold and protect spiritual individuality, and establish the heart in divine Principle, where we find that which we can love, praise, and adore.

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Apathy Overcome
July 1, 1916

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