The Word: Friend – the one who loves
Published 2:26 pm Friday, January 27, 2023
The Word says, “A man of too many friends comes to ruin, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24) As Christ followers, we know that “a friend who sticks closer than a brother” is Jesus! The first part of the verse is wise teaching on how we need to live our lives. Why in the world would too many friends bring us to ruin? You would think the more the merrier, right?
Looking deeper we can see that “comes to ruin”: the person who makes friends without distinction or careful selection can get themselves into a heap of trouble. Having friends that are close to you but does not have the same value system as you do will not support you in the long haul of life. In fact, the Word says, “He who walks with the wise will be wise, But the friend of fools will suffer harm.”
In fact, “But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by the hypocrisy of liars, who have been seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron” (1 Timothy 4:1-2) Even the world knows about toxic relationships and tells you not to have them. However, sometimes we have had a friend since grade school or for a very long time and we love them. They are life-long friends. Should you continue to love them if they are choosing to go away from Jesus?
As Christ followers, friendliness should be a character trait. We should absolutely be friendly and able at any time to love and care for others. The word friend here is defined in the Hebrew as “one who loves”. What God is telling us is to make sure we keep Him in the forefront in all our relationships. God always must be number one in our lives.
When someone is our ‘bestie” and does not follow Christ, we can easily be influenced if we are not focused on God. Why? Because we love them, and we assume that they love us. We say, “They would not lead us wrong.” The only love that is eternally real – is the love of Jesus Christ. All other wanes compared to him. As long as we keep those godly boundaries, we will be able to make right decisions and not be influenced or “fall away from the faith”.
This week may we evaluate our relationships, and take care in our 2023 to navigate our lives faithfully to Jesus Christ. May we love our friends enough to be strong, Christ followers.
Yvette Perrin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.