PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• This is Day 3 of a 7-part series “Things We Can’t Buy.” And today, we’re talking about Friends.
We actually just talked about friendship a couple of weeks ago on November 8th. It’s an important topic. As plenty of parents can attest, our friends influence us tremendously. Did anyone else ever get the standard, “If all your friends jump off a cliff, does that mean you have to do it too?!” Of course, it goes without saying… that quote should be read with complete sarcasm and in the tone of an aggravated parent.
Proverbs 11:11 CSB says, “A city is built up by the blessing of the upright, but it is torn down by the mouth of the wicked.”
In short, a true friend is going to be there for you. They are going to build you up with encouragement. They aren’t going to tear you down with hurtful negativity. A true friend is going to point out issues, but they will always do it in a loving, kind way that seeks to help, not hurt. And a true friend will not discourage your success, but will always want what is best for you.
One of the funniest Christian memes I’ve ever read says, “No one ever talks about one of Jesus’ greatest miracles—that He had 12 close friends in His 30s.” But even with the 12 disciples, Jesus had a closer relationship with some more than others. For instance, when Jesus transfigured, He didn’t invite all 12 to see it happen. He only invited Peter, James, and John (Matthew 17:1-2).
And with that, we turn back to Proverbs. This time, we’re in Proverbs 18:24. The ESV translation says, “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” But I also like The Message version of this verse. It says, “Friends come and friends go, but a true friend sticks by you like family.”
I can’t help but think of high school. I went to a very small Christian school and there were 21 in my graduating class. I got along fine with everyone in my class and like most 17/18-year-olds on the cusp of graduation, we swore eternal love, friendship, and loyalty. You would think with a class that small, it would be an easy promise to keep. But it wasn’t. Thanks to Facebook, I’m connected to maybe half of them. But my friend Amy is the one that I’ve maintained a consistent friendship with. I have wonderful memories of the others, and I enjoy seeing what they’re doing through Facebook. But we haven’t stayed involved in one another’s lives as Amy and I have.
More isn’t always better. You can have lots of friends but close friends know your flaws and love you anyway. And of course, the best friend we could ever have is Jesus who does all this and more with total perfection.
Today, as you pray, thank God for your friends. And thank Jesus for His willingness to be your best friend! Ask the Holy Spirit to help you be a good friend to others and to be appreciative of your circle of friendship.