Proverbs 17:17 A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
Unfortunately, true lasting friendships seem increasingly difficult to cultivate and nurture in today’s fast paced world. Yet, the interactions associated to true friendships remain important and healthy. There are many traits that define true friendships. Today’s passage points out one of the primary features that constitute a true friend: “A friend loveth at all times.” This love is not to be confused with being dishonest in hopes of protecting the feelings of a friend. In fact, a true friend will offer a needed rebuke. This is why the Bible says, “faithful are the wounds of a friend” (Proverbs 27:6). True friends never allow current circumstances to determine the level of commitment to a relationship. A true friend will remain faithful when all others have betrayed or departed. This test of friendship has been the proving ground for many friends throughout the history of mankind. One need look no further than the prodigal son for evidence of such (Luke 15:11-24).
• (For children): Imagine that you are playing with a puzzle and another child wants to help finish it with you. You say, “No, it’s mine!” Your teacher tells you to be kind and share. That teacher is acting like a true friend. She cares enough about you to show you the way the Lord would want you to play.
• (For everyone): Do you know a friend that “loveth at all times”? Is there someone in your life that loves you unconditionally? If you are saved, the Lord is that kind of friend to you.
• While thinking on friendship, examine the friendship you offer to others. Are you the kind of friend that loves at all times? Do you love others enough to offer a faithful rebuke when it is necessary? Are you a true friend?
• Ask the Lord to give you some true friends in this life.
• Ask God to help you to be the kind of friend He would want you to be.
SONG: I’ve Found a Friend