Proverbs: Part 17

A few years ago I did a stupid thing. I learned from my huge mistake, and in the process was drawn closer to God, but at the same time I lost one of my two best friends. Both had been close to me for approaching a decade. We could tell each other anything, and pretty much did. So when I did this stupid thing, I knew that I’d have to confess my stupidity to each of them, maintaining our close bonds, knowing that each of us knew everything about the other. It would have been dishonest of me to withhold the knowledge of my monstrous sin.

While I was instantly forgiven (although my sin was not against either friend) from one best friend, I haven’t heard the voice of the other since. I miss her very much.

We’ve all heard the phrase, “blood is thicker than water,” meaning that a family bond will stick together even when friends fall apart, but the Bible asserts that sometimes, the exact opposite is true.

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. Proverbs 17:17.

This proverb, taken from the next chapter in our study of the book, rates a good friend over a family relationship. Proverbs 18:24 tells us that “a friend sticks closer than a brother.” A true friend will love you at all times, even when things are bad. He or she will forgive you, no matter what you’ve done. True friends like these are hard to come by, and I’m lucky to have one.

Proverbs tells us how to be a good friend in turn.

Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act. (3:27)

He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends. (17:9)

Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses. (27:6)

We can learn a lot from our true friends, if only we allow ourselves to, sticking by them in good times and in bad.

As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (27:17)

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