17 Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.
Proverbs 27:17 English Standard Version
Who holds you accountable and inspires you to be the best you God intended you to be?
It is wise and important to discern your real friends from friendly acquaintances. Real friends are those who don’t have any false or unrealistic expectations of you. They accept you with all your flaws and all your mistakes but also help you to become who you should be. They don’t quit on you. They stick by your side no matter how tough things get and support you through anything.
Someone once said, “If you have two or three real friends, you are one of the richest people alive”. Indeed, it is rare to find real friends that will stay with us through thick and thin. And when we have them, it is one of the greatest blessings we can have in life.
We sometimes have a “consumerist” approach towards friendship. This makes us fair-weather and unreliable friends that are only there when we have something to benefit. When we don’t get what we want, we move on to the next friend down the line.
The Book of Proverbs has many things to say about friendship. Study it and you will discover how to become a better friend to someone. Biblically speaking, real friendship is more covenantal than contractual. We are told not to forsake our friends (Proverbs 27:10) and a real friend can stick closer than a family (Proverbs 18:24).
Moreover, Jesus tells us and demonstrates to us the importance of genuine and sincere friendship, and commands us to build a meaningful community of true and deep relationships. In 3 John 15, the Apostle John calls everyone in church his friends. We are to do the same—for this is our Lord’s vision for everyone who follows Him. That is, we reflect our love of Him by showing love for one another and sharing in each other’s lives. This is most important and relevant especially when we are living in an age of increasing isolation and loneliness.
Let us learn to sharpen one another and become a community of real friends.
Application: What is the Holy Spirit saying to me from today’s scripture reading? What is it saying about God and me and helping me in my Christian walk?
© Copyright Richard Tan, 2019.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version®.
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