“A man who has friends must himself be friendly” (Proverbs 18:24)

There are three types of friends: circumstantial friends, chosen friends, and natural friends.

Circumstantial friends are the most common; in fact, almost all friendships start out as circumstantial. A circumstantial friend is your friend because circumstances have placed you together, whether it be a small group at church, a classmate, or a co-worker. Circumstantial friends come and go; when circumstances change, the friendship might fade. For a circumstantial friendship to last, the person must become a chosen friend.

A chosen friend is someone with whom you choose to make an effort to form a friendship. By choosing to focus attention on building a friendship a circumstantial friend can remain a lasting friend even when circumstances change. Sometimes a chosen friend does not start out as a circumstantial friend; perhaps you choose to go out of your way to forge a friendship with someone with whom you would not normally have much interaction.

A natural friendship will usually start out as a circumstantial friendship between two people who discover that they just “click.” You thoroughly enjoy the other’s company right from the start and feel perfectly at ease with each other; this is the person who is most likely to be your best friend. Even though personal interests and convictions might differ, there is a natural affinity between spirits. Natural friendships are the most fun, but the most rare. Even natural friendships will fade if the friendship is not moved into a chosen friendship. Chosen friendships take the most work, but that is what is required for a lasting, meaningful friendship.

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