Proverbs 19:4 Wealth maketh many friends; but the poor is separated from his neighbour.
Proverbs 19:6 Many will intreat the favour of the prince: and every man is a friend to him that giveth gifts.
Many people have so-called friends, but oftentimes these friendships are built upon weak support structures. Yet, testing the true depths of one’s friendships can be quite challenging. The previous lesson pointed to the ease of making friends by showing yourself friendly. Yet, too many people focus on using material means to gain friendships. Money can buy friends but there remains that doubt concerning the true foundation of those relationships. The Bible teaches that “wealth maketh many friends” (Proverbs 19:4). This truth is further emphasized in Proverbs 14:20 where the Bible says, “the rich hath many friends.” This fact remains ever more prevalent as the days go on. Those who are rich will have many “friends,” while those who are poor have far fewer close associations. Unfortunately, “Every man is a friend to him that giveth gifts” (Proverbs 19:6). As long as there is money or gifts to be given, people will have “friends”; but as soon as the money runs out, the “friends” will be gone too. True friendships, however, may be gained by showing yourself friendly and will be cultivated through righteousness.
• (For children): You want to play with some children, but they don’t want you to play with them. You leave and come back with some candy. They decide to let you play if you will share your candy. These children are not acting as your true friends.
• (For everyone): Take a moment and think about those you call friends. Why are they your friends? What made them like you in the first place? Would they still be your friends if you did not have any money or nice things to give them?
• Why are you friends with the people with whom you are friends? Do they feel obligated to buy things in order to keep your friendship? If so, this is an unrighteous relationship and one that rarely lasts.
• Ask the Lord to help you examine the nature of your friendships.
• Ask God to give you godly friends and show you how to be a godly friend toward others.
SONG: I Have Decided to Follow Jesus