Without friends, life would be black and white.

That’s because friends light up dull places,

They laugh with you, and sometimes at you, but they help you laugh at yourself when you can’t,

They know all your favorite foods,

They’re the biggest fans of your life.

At the end of the day, friends are the people who sometimes know you better than you know yourself.

Having a friend there for you sharpens who you are as a person and shows you what true love is.

It is the relationship that never ends, because even though time and space can separate friends physically, true friends are with you in spirit forever.

With that being said, I want to remind you that friendships are important.

However, it’s easy to be around your best friends, but because of that, it’s just as easy to take them for granted. We get so comfortable around people that we love that we forget to take time to appreciate them. We forget to celebrate the grand sum of all the little things they have done for us. Worst of all, they may be going through a rough season in their lives, and because of how busy we are, we overlook their problems. Or, we recognize their pain, but we don’t want to spend that much of our time or effort to walk through their trials with them.

“They’ll get over it, they’ll move on. Besides, they know I’m always going to be there for them, so if they ever need me, they know how to reach me.”

Of course we want them to be happy again, but sometimes, we don’t really want to go out of our way to play an active role in helping them heal emotionally.

I’m not saying that you can be there to help solve all of their problems, but I’m saying that you were placed in that person’s life for a reason, and many times, that reason is to not to fulfill your own happiness, but to help them find theirs.

And in helping them find theirs, you will find yours too.

As I write this, I’m reminded of the famous story in the Bible about a paralyzed man who had four friends that heard there was a man named Jesus who could heal their friend. These four friends didn’t just tell their paralyzed friend, “Hey, there’s a man named Jesus who goes around healing people! Hopefully one day, Jesus will walk by and heal you.”

These four friends didn’t pick up their paralyzed friend on a stretcher, carry him through the crowds surrounding Jesus, and then just give up because there was no way to Jesus, saying, “We'll just leave you on the stretcher here, and hopefully when the crowds eventually leave, Jesus will walk past you, notice you, and then heal you.”

No, these four friends wanted their paralyzed friend to be healed and happy again, and they were willing to do whatever it took to make that happen. In order to work their way through the crowd, they tore a huge hole in the roof of the house that Jesus was in, lowered their friend down before Jesus, and watched their friend jump up to his feet once Jesus had healed him.

I’m sure all four of these friends had lives and were busy; I highly doubt that they were sitting idly by, bored stiff, when they decided to help out their paralyzed friend. They took the time to all get together, locate Jesus, planned out how they were going to get their friend to Him, and then finally, put in the hard, manual labor of getting their friend through a roof.

Are you willing to do that for some of your friends who are down and out? Maybe they aren’t physically paralyzed, but maybe they’re paralyzed by fear, by their insecurities, or by depression.

Don’t become so consumed with your own life that you forget about the friend sitting next to you who is going through some tough issues. And don’t wait for them to approach you about their problems, because sometimes, they don’t know how to verbalize their emotions to you. As soon as you recognize it, assure them of your love for them, and prove that love with your actions.

Small sacrifices of your time and care will go such a long, long way, and in the end you’ll establish true friendships that will resonate for a lifetime.