by William Campbell
“One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” –Proverbs 18:24
When I think about “a friend who sticks closer than a brother,” I think this could refer to God giving us the gift of Jesus’ friendship, walking beside us through life. But for me, it could also be that God has guided my ability to make close friends that are like a brother to me. I can see His influence in my role in relationships, and I can see God in some of my best friends.
I have gained some friends on my own, while other friendships have been made through our family relationships. A few of those friendships are so strong that we have stuck together through all of the challenges of our lives. Now and then, usually through sports or school, I will meet someone new, but after a while I can see that they are not always the best influence and won’t always be there for me in a tough situation. They may even feel like a fake friend. In those times, I think about my life, and why I was created. I think about how looking to God can help me be a good friend and help me make choices about what relationships I should create and strengthen.
Recently, Proverbs 18:24 has become one of the most important promises from God for my whole family. The mother of one of my very best friends passed away this summer. We are all very sad, but our job is to stick with my friend and his dad and sister “just like a brother.” I have been a safe space for my friend to feel whatever he needs to feel. Sometimes that’s to feel sad, but other times, we spend a day watching football to feel like things are normal. Sometimes he might be mad and take that out on me, but I can remember that just like Jesus says, I will still stick with him.
There are two types of friends: there are the fakes and there are the forever friends. The fakes will try to ruin you and the forever friends will stick with you like any brother would, through good times and bad times. Jesus wants to remind us to be that good friend to others.
Dear God, Help us to live our lives with love in our hearts, just like Jesus. When times are hard for us, or for our friends, help us to strengthen one another and lean on You for Your guidance and support. In Jesus’ name, Amen.