Friends Make the Difference
By James Washington
Special to the Outlook from NNPA
“Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.” Proverbs 27:6. This is an effort to get you to define who your friends really are. Who is it that you can absolutely depend on? I am one of those people who believe that you can determine this more in difficult circumstances than in situations where life is good and things are going well.
The Bible is full of chapters and verses about friendship even unto death, if you can believe that. John 15:13. According to the bible, friends love each other, do not forsake each other, and more than anything, a friend can be trusted. Even when a friend criticizes you, he or she is doing so to help, protect, build you up and yes, correct you when they and you know you are dead wrong.
My point about identifying and relating to true friends is pretty much a very basic concept. It just happens to be spiritually based. When all hell is breaking loose in your life, will your friend(s) pray with you? Pray for you? Will your friend(s) suggest maybe you ought to have a talk with the Lord? Will he or she let you know where the answer lies for whatever ails you? Addiction? Greed? Pride? Promiscuity? Whatever? Even Job’s “fickled” friend knew where he should turn.
“But if I were you, I would appeal to God; I would lay my cause before Him. He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted…” Job 5: 8-9. Now whatever you think about the motives of Job’s friends, you got to give them credit for knowing where to seek help. All I’m asking you is which one of your so called friends will point you in the right direction? I pray you have several, although one will surely do.
I can’t help but be reminded of Christ and the paralytic. Mark 2. Jesus heals the paralytic. I’m just moved to point out verse 5. “When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, Son, your sins are forgiven.” This is mind boggling to me. Jesus healed somebody because his friends had faith. Can you believe that? The folk you hang out with may not be the folk who have faith in you. But the people who have faith, the ones who will take you and your problems to the Lord, are the ones He listens to; often times on your behalf. Now I do not know about you but, these are the kind of friends I need. I also believe I have a couple in my life and I am very thankful for them. My question to you is, can you identify those in yours?
If you cannot, then understand you are the reason for this particular column. No one should go through life without a friend who will pray for you if not with you and let you know, that’s what you should be doing also. Mark 2 just lets us know that God pays attention to such things and values such friends. Their love for you acknowledges their faith in Him and I think He welcomes them for their faith and you for bringing it out in them. Now that’s something to shout about I think. But remember, if you do not have anyone in your life that fits this friend criterion…
May God bless and keep you always,