Summary: These Proverbs will help teach us to be to others the friend that we desire to have ourselves. When it comes to friends you must first be one to have one. What kind of friend are you?
PROVERBS 17:17 / 18:24
BECOMING A FRIEND
Author Henry Durbanville underscored the importance of friends as a means of overcoming the dreaded enemy of loneliness. He included some excellent quotes in his book which are worthy of repeating. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "A friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of nature." A small boy defined a friend as "Someone who knows all about you and likes you just the same." A comrade is described by an old Arab as, "A friend is one to whom we may pour out all the contents of our hearts, chaff and grain together, knowing that the gentlest of hands will take and sift it, keep what is worth keeping, and with the breath of kindness blow the rest away." Ralph Waldo Emerson also stated "A friend is a person with whom I may be sincere, before whom I may think aloud." Durbanville himself observed that, "A friend is the first person to come in when the whole world goes out."
The dictionary defines friend as "one attached to another by affection, regard, or esteem; an intimate acquaintance." Solomon gave his definition in Proverbs 17:17, "A friend loveth at all times." We can't improve on that definition. To have someone who remains true to us under all circumstances is indeed one of life's choicest blessings. The support and encouragement that only an intimate friend can offer is sorely needed when the burdens and pressures of life weigh heavily upon us.
Our companion text, Proverb 18:24, connects another very important understanding about friendship. It says, "A man who hath friends must prove himself friendly." The thought is that friendliness must begin with us. We are responsible for taking the initiative in developing relationships with others. Friendship is a treasure ship that you first launch.
These Proverbs will help teach us to be to others the friend that we desire to have ourselves (CIM). When it comes to friends you must first be one to have one. What kind of friend are you?
One of the greatest needs of a person is that of friendship. Friendship is a shield in danger, a guide in perplexity, a strength in weakness and a support in sorrow. What sun, air and dew are to seeds, friendship is to us. It energizes, nurtures, develops, and perfects our being. This proverb lead us to notice the consistency and cost of true friendship, which Aristotle described as "composed of one soul in two bodies." Hopefully this is what newlyweds mean when they say, "I have married my best friend."
I. FRIENDSHIP IS CONSTANT AND CONSISTENT
Proverbs 17:17 teaches that a true friend is always without exception or circumstance a friend. "A true friend is always loyal and a brother is born to help in time of need."
Friends must be constant to each at all times, in all circumstances or it isn't true friendship, for constancy in love is an essential element in all genuine friendship. True friendship is based on love because only love will endure the tests that friends experience as they go through life together. It is possible to have many companions and no true friends. There is an association we call friendship which is very warm, very demonstrative, but it changes with circumstances. When the connection is prosperous they stay by his/her side, cheering him/her with sunny looks and approving words but when adversity comes they draws away.