Proverbs 16
Proverbs 18

Proverbs 17

True friendship

Scripture

Proverbs 17:17

A friend loves at all times,
    and a brother is born for a time of adversity.

Observation/Understanding

A true friend isn’t just a fair-weather friend. A true friend is there when times are tough, when you aren’t easy to love, when you are more draining than life-giving to be around.

My favorite Old Testament example is David and Jonathan. Jonathan, the rightful heir to the throne, laid his life down for his friend David who would be king instead. When his father Saul was trying to kill David, Jonathan traveled many miles (In the days where the best transportation had 4 legs instead of 4 wheels!) across the wilderness to help David find strength in God. David didn’t just see Jonathan when it was time for feasting and when things were great. But even when David was at his lowest, Jonathan was there.

The best New Testament example is obviously Jesus. Doesn’t he love us at all times? Even when we’re hardest to love? As Scripture says, he is the friend that sticks closer than a brother. He promises to never leave us or forsake us. And he is present, not to be a burden, but to lift our burdens. And, not to shame us but to love us.

Then Jesus tells his disciples in John 15:12 (NLT), This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.

Do you spend more time desiring others loved you more or desiring to love others more? Rather than reading this and asking God, “Why don’t I have more friends like that?” we should be asking, “How can I be a friend like that to those in my life?” and, “What opportunities do I have to love others like you have loved me?” The best way to gain good friends is to be a good friend to others.

Life Application

Love others at all times.

Who do you know that is going through a hard time that could use your friendship and love?

God, help us to be like Jonathan and ultimately like you Jesus. Bring to mind those in our lives who are struggling. And rather than avoiding them, fill us with your heart of compassion that would lead us to pray for them, to pursue them, to reach out to them, to support them and to show them your unfailing, unconditional love. Amen.

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