This morning, I woke up with two words on my mind. The first word is real. That word means genuine, factual, and authentic. When you have something that is real, you know it’s not a copy or something artificial. Real is something significant, because there are a lot of things that appear to be authentic, but are counterfeit. Have you ever purchased something at a retail store and hand them a large bill? They will take that bill, hold it up to the light, and also mark on it with a special pen. The reason why is because counterfeit money not only is common, but criminals have gotten very good at producing look a-likes. I’m sure you’ve heard the term, keep it real. That means, speak the truth, give me facts, and not some made-up story that has not been authenticated.

The second word on my mind is friends. What is a friend? The dictionary says it’s someone that you like a lot and share a strong bond of mutual affection. In my opinion, it’s someone that loves you at all times and is always there for you. They do not compete with you, but they are loyal through good times and bad. A friend doesn’t use your back like a dartboard, because you can trust them whether you’re with them or not. Honestly, I think it takes years of living to define friendship truly.

Put the two words together, and it’s “REAL FRIENDS.” I noticed this morning when I started searching for definitions of a friend; I saw not only the word friend but also, good friends, true friends, and best friends. What’s interesting to me, is the word friend in itself is so powerful, why would you need to put something in front of it? Can it not stand by itself? The problem with friendship is kind of like the same problem retailers have with money. There is so much counterfeit currency; you have to put it through a process to make sure it’s real. Yes, real, genuine, factual, and authentic.

After fifty years of living on this earth, I can assuredly tell anyone that you need real friends. You see, it takes a while to authenticate real relationships and filter out the fake. Seasonal friends will drain you. Counterfeit friends will steal your joy; fake friends can cause you to doubt the existence of a real one. Some will walk away from you at the first sign of a storm, while others might wait until the storm gets bad. No matter when they leave you, if they can walk away, then you only lost what you thought you had. You didn’t realize you were spending counterfeit money, and the light just revealed it.

I wish I had time to write more on this subject, but let me close by saying this. As you face real problems, you’re going to need real friends, or maybe just one real friend to get through it. Blessed are they who have real friends.

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