24 A man with many friends may be harmed,[a] but there is a friend who stays closer than a brother.
Just because someone calls you “friend” does not mean they are one. Just like the prodigal son, he was very popular until his money ran out. Sometimes people are “friends” as long as you have something they need, and that need can be anything, not necessarily money! I am so thankful that I have been blessed with friends that are true! Friends that, when I really needed something, dropped all to be there for me.
In our scripture we know this friend who “stays closer than a brother” is Jesus! He is there with you, never leaving or forsaking you! But there are friends in human form who have a Christ filled heart! They to stay closer than a brother. Jesus has to have a body to work through on the earth, and friends are one of them!
Yesterday, I had a dear friend call me and we talked for three hours on the phone and then we met for lunch! This friend could literally light a darkened room with her presence! You cannot help but like her, not only because her personality is hysterical, but she is literally a living illustration of Jesus! When you tell her something in confidence you know it is going no further, she is full of wisdom, and she is THERE for you! When you talk to her, she doesn’t turn the conversation back to herself while you are still pouring out your prayer request. She is one who truly listens, understands, never judges, and is full of Godly wisdom and advice!
When our lunch was over yesterday, I hated to see her go. I felt like the weight of the world (it has been a tough week) was literally lifted off my shoulders! I knew she would be praying for me and I would see the results of her loving prayers! My friend can only be described as one thing…a jewel.
When you have expensive jewelry, you take care of it. You don’t just let it lay around where someone can take it and sell it as though it was nothing but a means to momentary satisfaction. You take that jewelry and you put it in a safe place. You make sure you know how to take care of it, keep it clean (some cleaners are too abrasive and will harm your jewelry), and you don’t give just anyone access to it. I don’t mean you get jealous of your friend’s friends, but you don’t tell your friend someone can be trusted and they will be a wonderful friend when you know they won’t! You guard that jewel (friend) from gossiping tongues, being treated harshly, exposing them to things that would cause hurt, or abrasion so to speak! You give that jewel of a friend great consideration and you appreciate who they are as your friend, literally your gift from God!
Determine to be this type of friend, too! Be a friend that doesn’t speak of things said in confidence! Oh, that breaks trust that can NEVER be regained!! Friendship is ALWAYS built on trust! Truly listen! Don’t sit and think about what you want to say midway through your friend’s sentence. DON’T EVER turn the subject back to you! They are talking to you about something that is truly a weight in their lives, they don’t need your weights at the time, too! This is selfishness!
I had a friend one time that told EVERYTHING I told her in confidence, was jealous and competitive with me, never listened to me, always turned the conversation back to her and how much worse her life was than anyone else she knew, would say she wanted to talk about God, but five minutes of “God talk” was more than enough and she would then change the subject! This went on for so long, I could not turn to her because the trust had been broken many times, it was all about her no matter what, and she didn’t have enough depth to truly advise me in a Godly way! It became a gripe “festival” for her. I finally had to face facts and I could no longer be around her anymore! I loved her, but she pulled me down emotionally and spiritually! This is another time, you have to “let go”. If you didn’t read my article “How to Know When to Let Go”, this article will explain in more depth what I mean!
We don’t just throw people aside when they aren’t giving us 100% attention. We are ALWAYS there to help them, if possible. But when it begins to drain you, make you ill, leaves you without God’s peace, demands time that is unfair to you and your other relationships, it is time to evaluate boundaries within that relationship! God came to give you peace and lighten the burden, not to add to it!
I am determined to be the friend a friend should be! I am determined to be more and more like Jesus and love others as He has loved me! Love is a firm foundation and God can build mighty things on it! Loving as God loves, is the greatest thing, and I think one of the hardest things we can do in life! You can’t love selflessly without God’s help! You must let Him do it through you, because we are human and if we let natural human ways dominate, we won’t be able to love and flow supernaturally!
Have a blessed and wonderful day, precious reader! Meditate on the love of God! Think about how He loves you and shows it and be an imitator of that! What a fulfilling life that brings!! I will see you soon! Juliana