The Lord has stirred my heart, mind and spirit to write to you about the following subject once again. Please soak it in and I hope it blesses you.
"One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother."
This verse speaks to reliability, dependability, steadiness, stability and faithfulness. It is what I call a Battery Verse - it has a Negative part to it and a Positive part to it. The Negative is the unreliable friend(s). The Positive is a particular friend that is more reliable than family.
The first part of this verse talks about the importance of the company you keep. The section states, "One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin,". Not only will bad company hurt you, but if you have people you call "friends" which are unreliable - the unreliability places you back by yourself when you need help and even ruins you.
Friends are excellent sounding boards for each other (Prov. 27:17). Friends are great for studying The Word of God and growing together (Prov. 27:9). Older friends have gone through similar experiences and their advice is truly sweet because it can save a lot of headaches. If you have a true friend, honesty prevails at all times (Proverbs 27:6). Loyalty to the relationship is important (Prov. 17:17). Then John reminds us we can have no better Friend than one that would sacrifice His life for yours or mine. He says it like this - "No one has greater love than this—that one lays down his life for his friends." (John 15:13) Perhaps we should capitalize on the wonderful counsel of Proverbs 12:26 which reminds us - "The righteous choose their friends carefully...".
There is someone who is known as Faithful and True. He is better than a blood relative. He is "a friend who sticks closer than a brother". To help explain this degree of closeness - Proverbs 17:17 says about the brother - "a brother is born to help in time of need." So, while the brother seems to be only noticeable in time of need - The Closer Friend trumps the brother by being around all the time and therefore dependable in more, if not all, things. There is no better person to personify this than God's Holy Spirit.
I do not subscribe to the notion that parents are not suppose to be their child's friend as well as their parent. This is not Biblical. Because of our faith in Christ, believers have the best of both worlds. We are part of His Family, sons and daughters of God, and He is our Friend. As part of God's Family, Matthew records Jesus saying,
- "...whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother." (Matthew 12:50).
Then about Friendship John remembers Jesus saying,
- "I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you." (John 15:15)