For anyone, the painful sufferings we go through in life can be difficult. When we have to endure it alone, it can be unbearable. For a Christian in a difficult situation, a friend can stand by with a shoulder to cry on, provide moral support or consolation, and even encouragement, because we are united by Christ.
Wikipedia defines friendship as “a relationship of mutual affection between people”. It can be a mental leap to expect that complete strangers can hold mutual affection toward one another. BEING a Christian provides a basis for mutual affection with another Christian — the possibility for friendship, because we both possess a uniting element: the Holy Spirit.
Christian personalities can be as diverse as anyone else in the world: we are all different. But, we can love and be loved by people who are in Christ.
In the Old Testament and the New Testament there are numerous references where people stand united. As I had lunch with friends today, I was reminded of our brotherhood in Christ.
In 2 Corinthians 1:26 and following, Paul said:
26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”
Paul nicely points out that Christians have discovered that life is not about them. It is not about greatness. It is about making God known. In the process of doing that, mutual affection and admiration are common traits among brothers and sisters in Christ.