No one has a double
For reading & meditation - Proverbs 27:10-16
"Do not forsake your friend '" (v.10)
Stay loyal and loving to your friends as far as you possibly can. I say "as far as you possibly can" because they may commit and continue in some sin - such as adultery - and this demands action by the church as described in Matthew 18. Discipline may have to be given and you have to be willing to be part of that by withdrawing from that friendship until repentance is demonstrated. Loyalty and love in this case would mean continuing in prayer for your friend - prayer, by the way, that may take hours, not minutes. The opposite of friendship is - isolation. And how much emotional damage is the result of that? "The world is so empty," said Goethe, "if one thinks only of mountains, rivers, and cities, but to know someone here and there who thinks and feels with us and, though distant, is close to us in spirit, this makes the earth an inhabited garden." God made us for relationships and it is His will and purpose that we cultivate a circle of friends. Every friend is different. No one has a double in friendship. The more we have, the richer we are. Dr. Lawrence Crabb says, "Every day we ought to move out from our base in the home and say to ourselves: Lord, help me reach out and touch someone deep in their being today, not for the rewards it brings me in terms of good feelings, but for the blessing I can be to them." Jesus lived and acted like this. Perhaps this is why they called Him "the Friend of sinners." He hated sin, but loved the sinner.
Prayer: Father, one thing is clear - the wise are those who know how to make friends. Guide me in my future days so that in every relationship I may be able to apply some of the principles I have learned. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
For Further Study
1. What did the early Church devote themselves to?
2. What is the basis of deep fellowship?