Who is a True Friend?
“A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24 ESV
I have some extremely close friends here at Christ Centered Family. We have said over and over again that we are here for each other, or so I thought.
Some of us at Christ Centered Family take ballroom dance lessons. The studio we attend holds a weekly dance party so we can practice what we learn. I dance with a lot of different partners including those in our organization, but especially I dance with my husband. The last dance party my husband had an accident and was unable to dance through the night. I still had other partners, but my one Christ Centered Family friend only danced with me once and left me without a dance partner to run off and fulfill his agenda for the evening. It reminded me of an earlier time in my life when my husband moved a few states away to start a new job. Our Bible study group friends made lots of commitments to us that if I needed anything, they would be there for me. I had a couple of deep needs during that period and all those friends who said they would be there were not. My son experienced an unexpected death of a friend. Both my boys played baseball in different cities at the same time. Our friends who offered help were unable or unwilling to step up when they were asked.
I’m stopping here for a moment to ask you a question. Are you quick to agree to support someone? Do you ever give the “If you need anything, just ask,” statement? Be careful in your words. If you know you aren’t willing to do anything, don’t offer it. As Paul wrote in Colossians 3:9, “Do not lie to one another.” Be clear with what you are willing to do. I have since realized my church friends were only willing to be helpful within the confines of the church, but that did not help me in my time of need.
This Proverbs 18 verse had always left me wondering who is a friend that sticks closer than a brother? The Lord showed me that it’s Him. God is always by my side, helping me through any situation. He often works with people even those who never speak a word of commitment. Those many years ago with my husband off in another state, I had help from people I barely knew. My son received support in his grief from his D.A.R.E. officer whom he had a class with a year or two earlier to the death. Parents whose children were playing alongside my kids handled the conflicts I had with baseball. My kids were with parents who I never learned their first names. And at dance, my instructor swooped in to take me out on the dance floor so I wasn’t the only one not dancing. I know it was God in all these things. I may never have the support from the people who declare their support, but I will always have the support of my God. God is true; trust Him in every situation in your life.
“The LORD is faithful in all his words and kind in all his works. The LORD upholds all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down.” Psalm 145: 13c-14