Daily Devotional

True Friendship

by Simon Whitton

A man of many companions may come to ruin,
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Proverbs 18:24(NIV)

When I look at the friendships I've had over the years, I'm astounded by the loyalty of some and shocked by the betrayal of others.  The scriptures talk of disappointing friendships, and how 'fair-weather' friends are so unreliable.

Because of all my enemies, I am the utter contempt of my neighbors;
I am a dread to my friends-- those who see me on the street flee from me.

Psalm 31:11 (NIV)

A poor man is shunned by all his relatives-- how much more do his friends avoid him! Though he pursues them with pleading, they are nowhere to be found.
Proverbs 19:7(NIV)

Our friends may or may not be reliable, 'but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother'.  He is, of course, the Lord. Here is something the Lord had to say about His friendship with us:

12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
14 You are my friends if you do what I command.
15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit-- fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.
17 This is my command: Love each other.

John 15:12-17 (NIV)

He has chosen us and has proven His friendship towards us by the way He accepts us, by His love and companionship.  He forgives us when we offend Him, He helps and encourages us, counsels and warns us.  He generously gives, and shares His life with us, even laying it down for us.

This is the type of friend that Jesus is to us and how He loves us; and He wants us to love each other with friendship in the same way.  He has appointed us to be the sort of friend that puts the other person before ourselves, to be a blessing to them, to bear fruit that will last.

In light of this, let's be careful about offering 'business opportunities' designed to turn family, friends and fellow believers into potential customers.  There's no regulation against doing business like this, but let's be sure about our own motives, and cautious not to taint our relationships.  We should leave people with no doubt about our genuine interest in them and why we invite them into our homes.

In today's culture, inside and outside of the church, people need genuine friends more than ever.  This is something people are looking for.  We have an opportunity to obey the Lord, to be a blessing to others, and to enrich our lives as we extend the same friendship that Jesus has extended to us.

Spend some time praying and thank Jesus for His friendship and that He will never forsake you.  Pray that He will cause you to be this sort of friend to others and that you will bear fruit that will last.  Pray that the Lord will bring people across your path who you can befriend and be a blessing to.

SHARE This Devotional