Do not forsake your friend and your father's friend,
and do not go to your brother's house in the day of your calamity.
Better is a neighbor who is near
than a brother who is far away.
One of the great joys of the summer months is seeing family members as well as special friends. In many of our schedules during the rest of the year, it is sometimes very difficult to see these family members or friends.
Proverbs 27:10 reminds us to be diligent in renewing these friendships—both family and non-family. In fact, the writer gives a command: “Do not forsake your friend . . . .” This is wise counsel and we should give heed to it for several reasons.
One of the special blessings of friendships is simply that it is a pleasure to be with friends. We have seen this in verse 9, where friendship is described as “sweet.” Verse 10 gives us an added reason, namely, that we find help from our friends in times of adversity. During times of “calamity” it may be that my brother/sister cannot help me, but a friend can come to our assistance.
We can’t always expect that our blood brother/sister can help. It may be that he or she lives some distance away. Certainly, we have means of communication that will keep us closer together. But this verse would indicate that we are not to forsake friendships near us today that can help us tomorrow.
We really don’t know how the Lord may use these friendships in our life, but let’s not spurn the opportunity to keep developing relationships with our friends. How are you being “neighborly” to those in your immediate region? Are you inviting them to your home for coffee? Many friendships begin only because someone asks a question to another and conversation and a relationship begins.
Isn’t this,too, part of the great commandment, “to love our neighbor as ourself”? Jesus would have us be faithful to our friends, even as he was entirely faithful to us, whom he counted as “friends.”
Don’t forget your friends today. Call them, speak to them, encourage them and deepen that relationship. God may choose someday to use them to help you.