Submitted Date 07/13/2019

"A friend loves at all times,

And a brother is born for adversity." (Proverbs‬ ‭17:17‬ ‭NKJV‬‬)

This is an interesting juxtaposition of a friend and a brother. In the next chapter there is another.

"A man who has friends must himself be friendly,

But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." (Proverbs‬ ‭18:24‬ ‭NKJV‬‬)

It has been well-said, "You choose your friends; you don't choose your family." Often that is used to explain the closeness one has with dear friends, especially when it exceeds relationships with actual siblings. Such would be that friend, "who sticks closer than a brother."

What does the Word mean when it says, "A friend loves at all times." Is that a fawning, always-approving, cheerleader kind of relationship? Careful examination of the whole of scripture shows otherwise.

"Open rebuke is better

Than love carefully concealed.

Faithful are the wounds of a friend,

But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful." (Proverbs‬ ‭27:5-6‬ ‭NKJV‬‬)

Sometimes a friend has to be willing to share unpleasant truths, without belittling or berating the other. Jesus told His disciples He called them no longer servants but friends (John 15:15) encouraging and challenging them to be better men. He was the prototype of that friend who is closer than a brother.

When adversity comes, do we cut bait and run, or stick by our friends and help them through the tough times, even when self-inflicted. Even if it means a hit to our reputation, a friend will be redemptive and restorative to a fallen one. To whom do I need to be a friend today?


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