Proverbs 25-27, Psalm 6
We read about true friendship in Proverbs 27:5-6, “Open rebuke is better Than love carefully concealed. Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” I am reminded of a poem I read on p.52 of a book by Mark Cahill (evangelist) called One Thing You Can’t Do In Heaven. The poem is called My Friend:
My friend, I stand in judgment now, And feel that you’re to blame somehow, On Earth I walked with you day by day, And never did you point the way.
You knew the Lord in truth and glory, But never did you tell the story. My knowledge then was very dim; You could have led me safe to Him.
Though we lived together here on Earth, You never told me of a second birth. And now I stand this day condemned, because you failed to mention Him.
You taught me many things, that’s true; I called you “friend” and trusted you. But I learn now that it’s too late, And you could have kept me from this fate.
We walked by day and talked by night, And yet you showed me not the light. You let me live, and love, and die, You knew I’d never live on high.
Yes, I called you “friend” in life, And trusted you through joy and strife. And, yet, on coming to this dreadful end, I cannot, now, call you “my friend”.
The world will tell you when in company avoid talking about religion and politics. The world tells you we should be tolerant of all characteristics in our friends that are clearly outside God’s will. As a friend we can choose to accept, flatter, tolerate and this will indeed make us popular and well liked. This will also make us love our friends right into hell, which makes us no real friend at all. There are things in our lives, which if unchanged will destroy us. The true friend will lovingly lead you to the truth, even if in the process it causes some pain. In Ephesians 4:15, Paul teaches us to speak the truth in love. This is good advice on how to confront sin in the lives of our friends, truthful, but always in the spirit of love.
We read further in Proverbs, in 27:17 the well known verse, “As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” This verse is used for men’s fellowship gatherings constantly. But this does not mean that this type of fellowship takes place whenever Christian men spend their time talking together about sports, cars, family life, etc. Fellowship should be fun, but should be centered on the Word of God. A Christian phrase thrown in here or there is not the same. Part of the reason for The One Year Bible Challenge is to center everyone in the Word of God. True fellowship only takes place when the sword used to sharpen the iron is the Word of God. These proverbs give us sound counsel on how to be a friend both to nonbelievers and believers.
Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley: