November 3, 2023
The Bible Edge
Thank You Lord
A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
Thank you, Lord, for friends. Someone once said, “He alone has lost the art to live who cannot win new friends.” In today’s “friend me” and “I’ll unfriend you” society in which we live, winning new friends is a difficult thing to do. Having friends is a universal social need, unfortunately good, thorough instructions about friendship is rare. How to make friends, keep friends, grow friendships, endure difficult times in a friendship, boundaries, and on and on are great lessons about friends that each person should learn. But the foundation of all friendships and the eventualities of friendships is found in today’s verse.
Be friendly. If a person is to have friends, they must first be friendly. Many want friends yet will do nothing to be friendly. Some want others to do the work of friendship while they only receive the benefits. This is not sustainable. Sooner or later the one working on a relationship with a person who puts forth little or no work at that relationship will grow weary and stop trying. Thereby that friendship will end at the worst or grow distant at the best. Friendships, lifelong friendships, mutually beneficial friendships take mutual, equal, and constant effort by both.
Sayings about friendship always seem to sum up in a few words things that should be remembered. Here are a few favorites.
“An ex-friend was never a true friend in the first place.”
“When in trouble your enemies will line up to smack you, while your friends will rally around you. “
This is an old one. “Be not the fourth friend of him who had three before you and lost them.”
Sir Walter Raleigh said, “If thy friends be of better quality than thyself, thou mayest be sure of two things; the first, they will be more careful to keep thy counsel, because they have more to lose than thou hast; the second, they will esteem thee for thyself, and not for that which thou dost possess.”
Someone else said, “All men have their frailties; and whosoever looks for a friend without imperfections, will never find what he seeks. We love ourselves notwithstanding our own faults, and we ought to love our friends in like manner.” Well said!
All in all, thank the Lord God for such a thing as friends and friendship. These are very much needed in life. They take work, sacrifice, and sometimes money. But, in the long run they are well worth the investment. Because a true friend sticks closer than a brother.
William T. Howe, Ph.D.