May 22, 2006 • By Ed Wrather
A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. - Proverbs 18:24.
This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. - John 15:12-14.
They were just a couple of friends driving along when they noticed they needed some gas and stopped to fill up the tank. After filling the tank up, the driver found she did not have enough money to pay for the gas she already had in the tank. So, a deal was worked out with the station attendant. Her friend would stay at the station until the driver could return with the amount owed. It all happened in Germany and a spokesperson for the police in Muenchberg explains, "She didn't have enough money to pay the bill, so her friend stayed behind as a human deposit while she went to withdraw cash. Unfortunately, the woman did not return." The woman left as a "deposit" at the gas station was stranded, waiting two hours for her friend to come back (She never did.) and then the police arrived to interrogate her but did finally release her. The missing driver will probably be arrested for fraud.
What do you think? Do you think the two friends are going to now remain friends forever? Probably not! Solomon appears to be on to something when he tells us in Proverbs that, "A man who has friends must himself be friendly…." In other words, if you want to have friends and want to keep those friends - you need to act like a friend. Leaving a friend in an unpleasant situation like the driver did in Germany is not being a friend. It is taking advantage of a friendship, which will result in friction and problems developing in the relationship.
Friends in life are important and provide us with a lot of encouragement and comfort. Sometimes friends do disappoint us and do us wrong. However, as Solomon also points out there is a friend that is not like that. There is a friend that will not only show Himself friendly, but He will stick closer to us than a brother. That friend is Jesus Christ. All may turn away and leave us stranded; however, Jesus will never do that. Jesus will always be there waiting for us to return to Him.
Is it possible for you to cause a disruption in your friendship with the Lord Jesus? Yes. Why? Because He, Jesus, has given us some commandments, some guidelines for the eternal friendship. He says, "You are My friends if you do whatever I command you." If we refuse to live like we know He wants us to live - there will be a breach that develops in the relationship. Who caused the breach? You did. If we want to continue on a normal basis in our friendship with the Lord then we must confess our sinfulness (1 John 1:9) and turn back to walk in the ways of righteousness with Him.
Friends are forever. Actually, there is only one friend that you can count on forever and that is Jesus Christ. He has proven His love by dying for you on the cross (Romans 5:8). There is no greater love, no greater friendship than that.