A True Friend

       “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity” (Proverbs 17:17). A young friend once remarked to me that something must be wrong with her as she is unable to attract the right friends.  Despite the fact that she is a child of God, her friends though claim to be children of God are hell bent on walking on another path which is not the Lord’s. According to her, the hypocrisy is so much that she believes there is no difference between their behavior and that of an unbeliever. She posited that she would rather have unbelieving friends than have the ones that are in the choir one minute and are in the clubs the next! One would think it only pertains to the young; that’s not true. You may not be going through this dilemma (Praise God for you!), but I can assure you that so many are! The dangers of having bad friends is that they can influence you and drag you away from the right path, but good ones will encourage and cheer you on the path of life and success.
       The Bible tells us about a group of friends that were very concerned for one of them that was paralyzed (Luke 5:17-26). When the friends learnt that Jesus Christ was coming to their vicinity, they carried their paralyzed friend on a stretcher to Jesus for healing. Unfortunately they could not get into the house where Jesus was because of the crowd. The friends equally understood that Jesus had the power to heal; for this singular reason they were ready to literally move the ‘mountains’ to get their friend to see Him. This conviction made them do an extraordinary thing: they climbed the roof of the house with their paralyzed friend on a stretcher; opened a section of the roof and lowered their friend into the room where Jesus was teaching. Seeing their effort, Jesus did not only heal the man of his sickness but equally forgave him his sins. These friends not only helped in facilitating the healing of their friend but prepared him for eternity with the Lord. On the flip side, there is an account about one of the sons of David who had a terrible friend. Amnon, son of David had an incestuous desire for his half sister Tamar such that he became sick. His friend Jonadab encouraged him to rape her instead of pointing him back to God’s word that forbids such incestuous relationships (Leviticus 18:9-11). This singular act led to the death of Amnon and the depressive state of Tamar. Equally, Rehoboam, the grandson of David lost the kingdom because of the ill advice of his friends. Seeing this, one may argue that it is not necessary to have friends. That's not true as we saw in the case of the friends of the paralyzed man. 
       Beloved, the friend(s) you have, how are they propelling you towards the Kingdom goals for your life? It’s time to access the ‘friendship’ situation dispassionately and seek the Grace of God to do that which is needful! However, Praise God that we do have a Friend that is loyal, selfless and loving to the very end, in fact the Bible says He sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24b). In the day of adversity, He will never abandon you. When you stumble or fall, He is there to pick you up and dust you off. He is the great Cheer Leader. He always, always has your back no matter what the world throws at you! His friendship is not hypocritical but TRUE! A Friend that tells it as it is! His name is Jesus Christ! Will you befriend Him today? If you desire to have this wonderful relationship with Him, ask Him, in all sincerity to come into your heart and He will come. God bless you as you take this decision. If you are already His friend, may He open your eyes to see friendships that will lead you away from the path of life and may He give you the grace to do the needful! God bless you.

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