Iron sharpeneth iron; So, a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend. Proverbs 27:17 (KJV).
The essence of our lives can be remarkably influenced by the associations we make and keep. This is because we are created to be relational beings, and if we are lacking in this area we find that we wilt away gradually. As the saying goes ‘no man is an Island.’
As we all know maintaining associations is very good and can have several benefits. Such benefits could range from spiritual, psychological, physical, emotional, social, and cultural enrichment.
However, just as there are pros to everything there are also cons. It is hard to say which one of these outweighs the other. However, going by what we see happening in our world today, one is tempted to say the cons seem to tip the balance.
A lot of what we find these days are deceit trickery, and selfishness. How do we know this? The state of the world is our witness, even in the church, we find selfish and self-centered motives for doing things, or joining a particular circle of friends. At the end of the day, we find that these kinds of associations do not enrich or impact our lives the way they should.
So, what must we do to help us identify associations that can be, or are authentic?
Our Bible verse for today in —-Proverbs 27:17, highlights for us the most essential duty, responsibility, and benefits that we could derive from being in good or Godly associations or friendship as most of us would call it.
As stated in this Bible verse, a friend or an associate has one major or primary responsibility or duty to perform. This duty is to stand as a help, support, and encouragement to those they call friends. “A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” Proverbs 17:17 (KJV).
A friend is meant to be a kind of covering for their friends, to stand as a pillar to help prop up each other when they are down. A friend and associate are expected to go the extra mile to make sure their friends achieve and excel, but most of all, they are supposed to be road maps to point each other to God and His righteousness.
As believers, we are supposed to emulate Jesus, the greatest friend of all times, who went far and beyond the expectations of what a good friend and associate should be. He was so passionate about us that He laid down His life for us His friends through His sacrifice and death on the cross.
He didn’t have to do that, but He did it anyway, just to show us how much we meant to Him. To demonstrate to us that He cherished and still cherishes our friendship above everything else. He was a friend who loved and loves us so dearly and was not prepared to lose us to a perpetual death and damnation in hell.
So, to avoid this He had to lay down His life for us so that He could redeem us back to Himself, and reconcile us to God the Father so that we could also come to know the love of the Father.
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15: 13 (KJV).
This singular act that our Lord Jesus did for us His friend endowed upon and in us the right essence, which is the life and nature of God. So that we can live the full life God created us for. This indeed is what it means to have and experience the gift of an authentic friendship, and association.
‘Therefore, as an example for us, we are advised to go and do likewise!!!’
To be blessed with the ability and gift of being the friend and associate God our Heavenly Father calls us to be, we must truly understand what it means to be like Jesus and make up our minds to emulate Him.
Ebimobo W. Obasi
PLEASE PRAY ALONG:
A Prayer of Thanks for Deep Friendships.
FATHER GOD, You have given us the gift of community so that we can encourage and sharpen one another. JESUS, You are the greatest friend of all, please help me to be like you. Thank You for the people in my life who challenge me to pursue You. Please provide me with opportunities where I can do the same for others. In JESUS MIGHTY NAME AMEN.