"A friend loveth at all times"

In the seventeenth chapter of the book of Proverbs we find the statement, "A friend loveth at all times." The word "friend" is a derivative of an Anglo-Saxon verb meaning "to love." Thus we can readily see that friendship and love are closely related. A true sense of friendship, then, would be gained through a right understanding of God, as Love; and a false sense of friendship would be an erroneous sense, due to ignorance of what Love is and of how it is expressed.

In order to get a clearer understanding of what friendship is, and of how it is to be obtained, we must distinguish between a personal and a spiritual sense of friendship. The former, of course, depends upon human beings, while the latter wholly depends upon God, Love. As we enlarge our understanding of Love, we find that the personal sense of friendship is being purified by the spiritual understanding of Love, until we have a much higher, broader, more spiritual view, and realize an all-inclusive love, or true friendship. As we gain the true idea of God as our eternal Friend, we apprehend the significance of the following words from "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 266): "Would existence without personal friends be to you a blank? Then the time will come when you will be solitary, left without sympathy; but this seeming vacuum is already filled with divine Love." From this we can see that it is only the false personal sense of friendship which must be given up, not by any means the friends themselves.

God Ever Present
August 7, 1937

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