Situations of life teach us to be careful with who we are calling a friend. We get surprised by who we can count on and who we cannot. One way or another we all have been taken aback by someone we've allowed into our lives and in our hearts. Friends come and go all the time. One of the reasons we let someone go is because we've been disappointed by how much we really matter to them. Proverbs 18:24 One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Same is true to be careful with who is calling us their friend. Being a friend comes with responsibilities and it requires you to invest time in the relationship. The friends we choose will mold our character. There's no way around it, we start to think and act like the people we are spending time with. Proverbs 22:24-25 Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn their ways and get yourself ensnared.
"God doesn't give you the people you want, He gives you the people you need. To help you, to hurt you, to leave you, to love you and to make you the person you were meant to be." ~Author Unknown
It's puzzling to think that God would want someone to hurt or leave us. If God is love why would He be the one who is setting up these meetings? Can the person that wrote this be wrong? Proverbs teaches us that pain and hurt is necessary for us to grow. Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.
The hard part is knowing when the hurt is being caused for good. Proverbs 27:6 Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses. Did your friend mean well? Are they being up front with you because they see you stumbling? Even if what they are saying is incorrect and they just didn't have all the right information this is part of being a good friend. Proverbs 27:5 Better is open rebuke than hidden love. The wounds of a true friend are always meant for healing.
A true friend says "I love you when you're hard to love because you're my friend."
A few close friends is better than a host of acquaintances. A friend with all the world will prove to be a bad friend. Friendships comes in many forms and for different lengths of time. Sometimes we grow apart for a period and come back together when the time is right again. Sometimes a friendship just ends. Today begin to develop at least one friendship based on these God honoring principles. It is those friendships that we look back at and think "if it wasn't for you, I'd be lost."
Prayer for the week: Lord, thank you for your instructions to be a good and true friend. To be always loyal and never to let my friends down. Never to talk about them behind their backs in a way to which we would not do before their faces. Never to betray a confidence of talking about the things about which we ought to be silent. Always to be ready to share everything we have. To be as true to our friends as we would wish them to be to us. This we ask for the sake of You who are the greatest and the truest of all friends, for your love's sake. We pray this in Jesus’ name. ~Amen.