Remember back in the day the teacher would assign a topic and then we would have to write an essay and hopefully get good marks when we turned the paper in? I am glad those days are over, and today prefer to be organic – if it means something to me I will share it, write about it, talk about it, because of its’ authenticity in my own life. Seems to have a deeper impact rather than a third party topic that was real to someone else.
I was thinking to myself today how we amble through life and situations and think how unique they are to us alone, and that no one has been through what “I am going through”, and “no one will truly understand.” Which in essence is true, because everyone seems to be navigating their own dilemma be it a relationship, a challenging child or family member, illness, finances etc., pick your poison, it exists for us all.
Proverbs 18v24 “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”
To have a friend like this in your life, you must first become that friend. For 99% of us this presents a major stumbling block, because we now must allow our lives to become vulnerable and open. Literally ready day or night to come to the rescue, when called upon, and to be so finely tuned that before the call goes out you already know what is happening and begin to respond. Maybe this is the friend that Proverbs speaks of? So how do you know you have such a friend in your life? When a storm comes and buffets against you! You won’t need to announce to the world that you are navigating a storm, because your friend will be there walking with you, navigating the path ahead with you, carrying you if necessary. Equally when they are facing their Goliath you will be there for them, closer than a brother, because of the heart commitment you have made.
I don’t think it is possible to have the caliber of friend that this scripture refers to without being in relationship with the Lord. It would be too easy and we would have more friends than you could through a stick at!
Jeremiah 9v4-6 “Beware of your friends; do not trust your brothers. For every brother is a deceiver, and every friend a slanderer. Friend deceives friend, and no one speaks the truth. They have taught their tongues to lie; they weary themselves with sinning. You live in the midst of deception; in their deceit they refuse to acknowledge me,” declares the LORD.
Isn’t that the truth? Through life we can face situations and think that we have friends close by, but when the rubber hits the road you soon discover who is for real, who is a clinger-on, who is genuine and who is legitimate and who isn’t. If you find yourself giving out constantly, and you think it’s your nature and character to do that – especially in a friendship relationship environment; you might want to re-evaluate, and discover what God’s plan and gifts are for your life, and determine who gets the privilege of being included in your circle of influence. So much hurt exists today because we take people into our lives, only to discover their agenda and motives are not identical to yours, but running alongside on a parallel road that might even be meant for your harm, and not for your good.
Proverbs 17v17 “A friend loves at all times…”
This is difficult to live by! Growing up I had friends that I can honestly say I didn’t love at all times. I remember sitting in class in high school, and refusing to share my text book with my friend. Right there in class, he turned towards me and punched me – I punched him back, and a fight broke out. End result – visit to headmaster and a caning – those good old days when discipline wasn’t an issue! Friendship short lived over a silly text book, and unwillingness to share. Pretty drastic example, but the same principle applies.
I think to be that friend that sticks closer than a brother, that loves at all times and is not deceitful, you must have navigated some of life’s storms, and be sensitive enough to discern a situation of difficulty without passing judgment but making your life experience an example to those in your proximity so that they can feel your heart for them and appreciate your willingness to come alongside and run that stretch of the race with them. After all, wouldn’t we all desire that friend to be there when we need them?
The sole decision rest upon us; will we choose to be a friend or a brother/sister? Everyone can be a brother or sister, but not everyone qualifies to be a friend, for the price is dear.