Friendship is wonderful, but some friendships can be tricky affairs. If only there was a set of guidelines we could follow, some wise advice to help us know how to have the best friendships.
Proverbs 27 has some helpful tips on discerning the best relationships possible. 'Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy' (Proverbs 27:6 NLT). That's a telling trust tip. '... When disaster strikes, you won't have to ask your brother for assistance" (Proverbs 27:10 NLT). True friendship means you don't even have to ask - nice.
But what about when things turn sour? The prophet Jeremiah was dismayed at how his people treated one another. He went as far as saying 'Beware of your friends; do not trust anyone in your clan. For every one of them is a deceiver and every friend a slanderer. Friend deceives friend and no one speaks the truth' (Jeremiah 9:4-5 NIV). Not feeling the love? Another prophet Isaiah is not much more positive: 'Don't put your trust in mere humans. They are as frail as breath. What good are they' (Isaiah 2:22 NLT)?
The point of today's reading is that it is good to be wise with your relationships. Fact is, God's Word says it, and we're strongly agreeing. Sometimes it's no bad thing to remember that God's the only one we can 100% rely on; and that, actually, living that out is likely to improve your friendships rather than weaken them!
So what now? It's good to remember that good friendship is a two-way street. Have a read of Colossians 3:12-14 to self-check how you relate to others.
SoulFood: 1-3, Mark 10:1-12, Ps 88:1-9a, Pr 13:1-3
The Word For You Today (an adaptation of The Word for Today authored by Bob & Debby Gass) is published under licence by RBG New Zealand. 2011 UCB International Ltd