‘A real friend sticks closer than a brother.’ Proverbs 18:24 NLT
The Bible says, ‘Some friends may ruin you, but a real friend will be more loyal than a brother.’ (Proverbs 18:24 NCV) Gloria Gaither points out that real friends are concerned about what you’re becoming. They look beyond the present and care deeply about you as a whole person. Solomon writes, ‘A man who has friends must himself be friendly.’ (Proverbs 18:24 NKJV) And while building and maintaining that kind of friendship takes time and energy, the rewards far outweigh the investment.
(1) Give you a hand up when you’re down. ‘Two people are better off than one for they can help each other… If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.’ (Ecclesiastes 4:9–10 NLT)
(2) Take the pressure off. No matter how much they love you and want to help, sometimes your family is just too close to be objective and it’s easier to open up to somebody you’re not related to. At such times, the Bible says, ‘The sweetness of a… friend gives delight by hearty counsel.’ (Proverbs 27:9 NKJV)
(3) Make you laugh. Somebody said, ‘If you’ve no wrinkles, you haven’t laughed enough!’ When a good laugh is just what the doctor ordered, friends help you find humour in your situation—usually because they’ve been there! As Hazel C. Lee says, ‘Laughing at ourselves as well as with each other, brings a surprising sense of togetherness.’
(4) Hold you accountable. Ever notice when you’re acting contrary to God’s Word, it’s easy to fool yourself? That’s when ‘the slap of a friend can be trusted to help you.’ (Proverbs 27:6 NCV) So thank God for good friends who love you enough to be honest even when it hurts.
SoulFood: 2 Cor 9:1–11:15, Lk 2:8–20, Ps 144:9–15, Prov 16: 4–7
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2023