A Friend Closer Than A Brother

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

                The Proverbs are wisdom literature that provide us general guidelines for living.  In this case, Solomon wants us to understand that a man with many friends may have lots of companions, but he many not have many true friends.  The NIV translates this verse, “a man of many companions may come to ruin.”  Just because a person has a lot of friends doesn’t mean that he is destined for success.  Have you ever known someone with tons of friends?  It can be like a full-time job keeping them all satisfied.

                Solomon wants us to understand that it would probably be better for us to have fewer, truer friends than to have a bunch of half-hearted acquaintances who won’t be there to stand with us when the going gets tough.  “There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”  That said, we shouldn’t be using our time trying to “win friends and influence people.”  While it’s perfectly fine to be winsome and personable, we should focus on trying to find friends that truly love the Lord and truly love us.

                There is an application of this verse that goes well-beyond any human friend you can find.  Even the best and most loyal of friends you have is a fallen sinner.  He/she could betray you at any moment, but there is a Friend who will never betray us.  Jesus said, “I will never leave you or forsake you” (Heb. 13:5).  If you are a Christ-follower, the Friend who sticks closer than any brother is Jesus.  Though every other person in the world may turn their back on you, Jesus will remain faithful & true.  Trust in Him!

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