The third code of Tang Soo Do. Like many things, the notion of friendship differs from country to country. In many Middle Eastern countries, people consider themselves “friends” the minute they meet. In some European countries, continuous contact is required to maintain a friendship, and in the United States, both distances and caring are necessary for two people to be considered friends. Koreans place a high value on trust and do not trust people unless they are affiliated in some way. Affiliation differs from person to person in Korea. Some people require that their friends belong to the same big organizations: company, school, church, etc. Others consider that smaller organizations like clubs, cafes, or housing can be regarded as a common affiliation.
Consider Proverbs 17:17, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” Friendship is the basis of a relationship with the implied understanding of trust and dependability. A friend sticks with you when things are good and challenging. Still, when life becomes difficult, beyond your ability to handle it on your own, those friends that stick by you become like family to you. Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). This is the very thing Jesus did for humanity to provide the way of reconciliation between God and man. True friendship is evidenced in our willingness to place the needs of others before our own.