Summary: “A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24NKJV)

A True friend stays closer than a Brother

“A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24NKJV)

The Scriptures speak much to us about friendship. The subject of friendship is given a high priority in the Bible. We are warned, for instance, of the evil of friendships with the world (James 4:4). He who will be the friend of the world is the enemy of God. Further, the Bible teaches us that we are to establish our friendships based upon faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

King Solomon here recommends friendship to us, and shows, what we must do that we may bond and cultivate friendship; we must show ourselves friendly. This is one of the greatest verses on the subject of friendship, and it makes two vital points. First, to have friends we must be friendly. In other words, the secret to meaningful relationships is not found in seeking friends but in being a friend. The second is an ultimate Friend for each of us, a Friend who is closer than a brother, a Friend who is truly interested in us with no thought of what's in it for Him. Somewhere there's someone who cares about us more than anyone else. There is someone who loved and laid His life for me and you. His Name Is Jesus, he said …. “You are my friends.....I have called you friends" (John 15:13-15) This is why Joseph M. Scriven wrote in his poem, “What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and grief’s to bear! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer, what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.” Jesus alone knows our every thought, word, and deed; past, present, and future, yet still pours out his love. Not only does Jesus love us, but he extends his grace to free us from our self-afflicted failures.

Generally speaking whatever age you are, your friends are an important element in your life. Here are few compelling reasons to keep friendships alive while making new ones. Changes are inevitable, an ongoing part of our lives. However, we can continue nurturing our friendships if we have the desire to do so. A true friend will try to understand the absence of a friend in times of crisis and would accept any forms of connection that is available. In this world of technology, distance is no longer a burden in nurturing a friendship. We can always connect if we find way because according the secular research friendship is greatly beneficial to the following areas of our life.

1) Edify us to overcome Anxiety and worry. We all know that loneliness makes us unhappy, but research suggests it can be a killer, too. A study found lonely people reacted more intensely to life’s challenges. For some people, that led to elevated levels of the stress hormone epinephrine, which can result in high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes over time.

2) Motivate us to maintain Physical fitness-Health habits can be contagious among friends, so lead the way. US researchers who analyzed the social ties of more than 12,000 people found clusters of obese people and clusters of thin people, suggesting that friends have a strong influence on each other’s weight.

3) Help us to live Longer Life-Reach out to friends with health problems – they may find it tough to ask for your support. According to researchers who looked at 500 women with symptoms of coronary artery disease, those with few personal contacts in their day-to- day life were twice as likely to die over the following two to four years as those who had more friends.

4) Encourage us to keep Healthy relationships- Friendships give you the opportunity to sharpen your relationships skills, which, research suggests, can help pave the way for stronger intimate relationships. Studies indicate that people who lack close relationships are more prone to depression, alcohol and drug abuse.

5) Inspire us to be Creative and Proactive- Children who are good at sports tend to be happier with their friendships, and researchers say the same applies to adults. Bolster your friendships by exercising with pals.

There is an example of true friendship in the Bible between David and Saul's son Jonathan, who, in spite of his father Saul's pursuit of David and attempts to kill him, stood by his friend. You will find that story in 1 Samuel chapter 18 through chapter 20. These two men truly cared for each other and had great trust and confidence in one another. David was running for his life from Jonathan's father, Saul. Jonathan recognized that David was innocent. Because of the true friendship they shared, David survived Saul's assassination attempts and went on to become one of Israel's greatest. Proverbs is another good source of wisdom regarding friends. "A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity" (proverbs 17:17). "A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother" (proverbs 18:24). The issue here is that in order to have a friend, one must be a friend. "Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses" (proverbs 27:6).

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