What is a Real Friend?

As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend Proverbs 27:17

A lot of us grew up singing “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”…Today one popular song is “He is a Friend of Mine” With so many friends you might think that Jesus is a very popular guy. But, what does the Bible have to say about what it means to be a real friend? How ready are we to really be a good friend of Jesus?

According to Proverbs a real friend is someone who is not afraid to confront us about our failures. Just going along to get along may be the easiest way, but is that really being a friend?

One day as we walked along the boardwalk in California our Grandsons began to race ahead alone and I yelled for them to stop because I knew there were dangers that they couldn’t see. So when we are racing ahead in our life and our friends begin to yell and ask, “What are you thinking about?” Are we willing to turn around and listen.

James 1:19 …. everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry…

Are we only willing to listen to compliments and to people who agree with us? If so we will find ourselves surrounded by those who will feel badly about our wounds, but will do nothing to cut us so that the bitter infection will drain and we can slowly heal. 

Faithful are the wounds of a Friend but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful Proverbs 27:6

“There’s not a Friend Like the Lowly Jesus, No not one..” are the words of another old song. Yes Jesus is humble but He is also Holy and He will confront us about our sins. He is being our truest friend because He know where our sin will lead. He cares enough to correct us because He has better things in mind for our lives. 
A friend is someone who will not pretend with us that it is a bright sunny day, when in fact it is a dangerous and stormy night. A friend is someone who we allow to make us uncomfortable when we know that they are telling us the truth. 

Zechariah 13:6  And if one asks him, what are these wounds on your back?” he will say, ” The wounds I received in the house of my friend”

Jesus does not command us to be His friends, but He paid the price by being a true friend. One of the most valuable gifts He gives are true friends. Today may be the day when a true friend will challenge us to take another look at ourselves. Will we be willing to listen to a brother, a Pastor or a neighbor who is acting as a friend today? Will you look back tomorrow and say, “Oh I wish I had paid attention to my friend” or will we slow down and begin to listen? When we really start to act like a friend of God, we will find that He is a true friend and a true friend is one who sticks closer than a brother.