AUGUST 3, Proverbs 17:17
Some of you have Facebook accounts as do your friends, siblings, and parents. The writer also has a Facebook account and as he was browsing it the other day, he was surprised that he has more than 200 “friends”. Wow – that is a lot! Are all these really his friends?
What is a friend? One dictionary defines a friend as ‘a person who shares the same feelings of natural liking and understanding, the same interests, etc and is not a member of the same family’. In simple words, people who like and understand each other and also like to do things together are friends. You like John and John likes you. You trust Jane and Jane trusts you. You and Michael always play together. Then the writer asks himself – do I feel this way for these 200 “friends”? The frank answer is “No”. Here is the wrong idea of a friend. Some of you may have the idea that the more friends we have,the more popular we are.That is simply not true. However, this may be what you hear in school. Your classmates may even tell you that to have more friends you have to do what they want you to do. While this may be alright in certain circumstances, it can be dangerous for a Christian child to be involved in activities such as hanging out with gangs, playing truant, bullying others and the list goes on.
It is important how we choose our friends. Friends are people we can trust and confide in, and there is no way we can confide and share our problems with 200 people! So you have to choose friends carefully. Some people are smart or good-looking or come from wealthy homes. Do you choose these types of people to be your friends? In the selection of a king to rule Israel, the Lord advised Samuel not to look at ‘his countenance, or on the height of his stature...’ (1 Sam 16:7). In the same way, don’t choose a friend based on outward appearance or status or wealth. Instead, choose a person who has true inner value within. This person should be one whom you can trust and share your problems with, and will stay close and stand by you in times of difficulties. This is the meaning of the phrase ‘a brother is born for adversity’ which we read in the text today.
Thought: ‘Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends’ ( John 15:13). Jesus calls us his friends’ ( John 15:15).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me choose my friends wisely. This I pray in Jesus’ name – Amen.