Friendship, Something We Could All Use

Friendship is something we could all use more of, especially true friendship.

So, what is true friendship?  You know that friend you can pick up the phone and call anytime, day or night.  That person you know will answer the phone and be there to help.  Someone who sticks by you when everyone else abandons you.  How have people put it? That person who walks into your world when the rest of the world walks out on you.  All of those forms of friendship are described by several of Solomon’s sayings in Proverbs 27.  For example, the friend that is there for you even when your family can’t be:

10b Better is a neighbor who is near
than a brother who is far away.

Proverbs 27:10b ESV

So how can you surround yourself with that kind of friendship?  Well the first part of the same verse gives us a little insight into that.  Start by being a good friend:

10 Do not forsake your friend and your father’s friend,
and do not go to your brother’s house in the day of your calamity.
Better is a neighbor who is near
than a brother who is far away.

Proverbs 27:10 ESV

Stick with your friends, and your father’s friend.  For some of us that’s pretty tough, especially the second part.  Maybe your father isn’t around, maybe he is, but has made poor choices in friends, or maybe they just simply don’t get along with you at all.  Well, Solomon doesn’t tell us that friendship is easy, just that we should do all we can on our end to not walk away from friends.  And maybe there is another way to look at this, maybe for you, getting started with someone that has been like a spiritual father to you would help you learn how to become a better friend to your actual father’s friends.

Solomon also indicates that friendship isn’t always rosy.  Sometimes friends hurt us, deeply.  But he reminds us that it’s better to have friends that hurt us than to have enemies that appear to bless you:

6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend;
profuse are the kisses of an enemy.
And in the end, isn’t having a friend that is willing to ask you the tough questions and give you the tough answers the kind of friend you want to journey through life with?  That kind of friend makes life so much sweeter:
9 Oil and perfume make the heart glad,
and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.