How many times I have run away when I hurt someone or they hurt me? Maybe the measure of friendship is how fast you come back to that friend when pain is inflicted or received. The scripture is not silent on this one. It says:
"I miss the pain of true friendship."
Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But deceitful are the kisses of an enemy. (Proverbs 27:6)This scripture says that one aspect of being faithful to a friend is to tell them something even though it hurts them. I guess the measure of a friend is how real you can be with them ... how deep you can go ... how honest you can be. This I think is the essence of fellowship and love ... but to be able to love like this takes much time and energy ... sometimes years of investment ... after all faithfulness is not something you do in a day.
I think that God values this kind of friendship more than we think He does. Jesus spoke these two things about how to be a close friend:
"Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering. (Matthew 5:23-24)These verses tell us that we are without excuse ... whether we have hurt a friend or they have hurt us ... we are to go to them with reconciliation in our hearts. Maybe reconciliation is what it is all about ... maybe true friends are just people who passionately want to walk out genuine reconciliation ... even when it hurts.
"If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. (Matthew 18:15)