A Man of Many Companions
"A man of many companions may come to ruin,
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." (Proverbs 18:24)
Sometimes I'm reminded of a person that could use some encouragement and then feel prompted to send him or her a verse via text message. The other day I couldn't immediately think of one to send my friend, so I searched on Google and Proverbs 18:24 caught my attention.
Although it wasn't the kind of verse I was looking for, it was as though the Lord said, "Hey, look! You need to see this!"
I kept that thought in the back of my mind and researched commentaries and various translations of Proverbs 18:24, and it's interesting to see what different Bible versions say.
The version that's listed above is ESV.
I don't have a solid answer as to what it means, but it got me thinking...
I am so blessed by the community of friends that God has granted me, but sometimes I tend to put more emphasis and thought into friendships with other people than I do my relationship with the Lord.
This is where I get into trouble.
There's a hole that I'm trying to fill with earthly pleasures, and while sometimes it's nice to have that immediate satisfaction (yay I got a nice text from a friend today, or woohoo I got to hang out with this person today), it's never going to be enough. I set unreasonable expectations for people and when those needs go unmet, then I feel bitter and resentful.
"But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother..."
I assume that the author is referring to the Lord (I could be wrong), but, hey, let's face it, He is the greatest friend of all.
You may or may not be familiar with what I'm talking about. Regardless, we can all use God in our lives and He should be our first priority. Not other people--even if they're our friends or family members.
God is able to fill the hole in our lives and when we're so full of His love, then we're able to effectively minister to our friends.
Have you ever had those days when you conscientiously spend time with the Lord and notice that your interactions with other people are much more positive and life-giving? That's not coincidence!
"Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you." (James 4:8)
Even Jesus had alone time with the Lord.
"As soon as the meal was finished, he insisted that the disciples get in the boat and go on ahead to the other side while he dismissed the people. With the crowd dispersed, he climbed the mountain so he could be by himself and pray. He stayed there alone, late into the night." (Matthew 14:23)