500+, that’s the number of people I have on my “friends” list on Facebook. Most of these people, at some time or another, I have meet personally throughout my life. All of these people either know me or we have dozens of mutual “friends.” If we looked at the all the people who tell us happy birthday, the pictures we are tagged in, the groups we are added to, and the events we are invited to attend, one would think we have a great group of friends. Honestly though, how many true friends do we have? Are we a true friend or are we just a Facebook groupie?
Proverbs 17:17 states, “A friend loves at all times and a brother is born for adversity.” Are we the type of person that is going to love our friends at all times, not just when it is convenient for us? When the going gets tough are we right there with them or are we nowhere to be seen?
Proverbs 27:6 has this to say about friendship, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.” Part of loving someone is not being scared to point out something that might hurt them at the time but that in the long run will bring them closer to God.
I don’t think it was easy for Nathan to confront his friend, King David, when he needed to. It might not have seemed appropriate for Paul to correct Peter to his face when Peter was not acting like he should have. It was probably awkward for Aquila and Priscilla to tell Apollos that he was wrong in the way he was teaching. But all of these people spoke out of love even if it was hard for them to do.
We do not just need to be a friend that’s there to say happy birthday. We need to be the type of friend that truly loves at all times. We need to be the kind of friend who cares enough to correct their friends when it is needed, and also the type of friend that is not above being corrected by others.