“A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity” (Proverbs 17:17). Notice that little three-letter word, A-L-L times. I am thankful for some very good friends who have loved me at the worst times. I am also thankful to have had friends that loved me in the best of times. I am honored to know that I can pick up the phone, shoot an email, send a text … and have good friends that would help in a time of need. Having a “good” friend is hard work. In the next chapter of the book of Proverbs it says that if I want to have friends, I must show myself to be “friendly.”
Many of us think that to get a friend we need to buy people things they want. Many think it is done by making promise after promise to do things that will benefit others. Some think that friendship is something that is owed to them after spending a good bit of time with another person. The reality is that none of these follows the Bible principle of Proverbs 18:24 … showing yourself friendly.
Friendship is a costly venture. As a matter of fact, if you are going to be a real friend, it will mean you will be willing to sacrifice almost anything for the sake of helping your friend in Christ. Notice I said, “In Christ.” I’m not talking about money, or gifts, or even time to “earn” a friendship. I am talking about investing your time and energy … your emotions and feelings … your gifts and abilities … and sometimes your car and money. Biblical friendship demands proof. You cannot claim to be a person’s friend, or simply announce to them that you are their friend. It is something that is earned over time. It is something that is proven through difficulties and stressful situations.
Choose your friends well. I remember a man that I met when I was in my mid-twenties. He was older than me by about five years. He was very gifted in teaching the Word of God and in sharing his faith with others. I went with him one night making visits to unsaved people. When we finished the visits, I turned to him and said, “I want to be your friend.” From that day until this day, I have worked to be his friend. Today, he calls me a friend and I call him the same. Today, if he called and needed help, I would drop everything to help him. If I needed help, I believe he would do the same. This friendship did not happen accidentally. This friendship was built. Choose your friends wisely and invest the effort it takes to be a good friend at A-L-L times! It is worth it in the end! There is nothing like having a friend that will stand with you in the storm!