As I read through Proverbs 27 this morning, I was reminded how important it is to have friends in your life – not just friends, but true friends: friends who have permission to speak freely and hold you accountable, friends you trust with your life and who you would lay yours down for theirs.
I am fortunate enough to be involved in a men’s group in the Tampa Bay area called Wildmen. And, from being involved in this group, I have established several such key friendships. The scripture Wildmen uses in all their presentations and meetings is found in today’s reading:
17 As iron sharpens iron, a friend sharpens a friend.
It’s pretty self-explanatory. We need each other to stay in line – or to stay “sharp” in the faith. There have been many times I’ve needed one of my friends to give me a call or email when I was down or a rebuke when I had gotten off track. We were not made to walk the Christian faith alone.
I was pleased to see other verses in today’s Proverb that also dealt with friendships like this:
5 An open rebuke is better than hidden love! 6 Wounds from a friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.
9 The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense. 10 Never abandon a friend either yours or your father’s. Then in your time of need, you won’t have to ask your relatives for assistance. It is better to go to a neighbor than to a relative who lives far away.
I am grateful for the reminder that “wounds from a friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.” I can say that I have friends who love me enough to not leave me stranded in my own sin. If I’m falling, they’ll know and they’ll care enough to help pull me out. That’s the heartfelt counsel that’s sweeter than perfume.
Thank You, Lord, for the reminder of how important my friends are. Thank You for my friends because I know You put them in my life just when I needed them most. Help me to always know how to be a friend to others. May I return to others what my friends have done for me in my time of need. – amen