January 30, 2023

Check back each Monday for a short devotional with Chaplain Art Pace to help you start the week off well. 

“A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

Proverbs 18:24

This proverb of Solomon may seem perplexing at first, but is actually a profound warning coupled with a promise. 

Solomon points out that it is unwise to measure the success of our life by the volume of our friends or the size of our contact list. Too many judge their importance based upon their number of social media friends or the numbers of “likes” and “follows.” The energy and compromises required to sustain such numbers can lead to our spiritual exhaustion and ruin.  

Solomon then gives us wise advice. Instead of priding ourselves on our vague collective of friends, we should identify and invest ourselves in the person in our life who has been and is a true friend to us. A true friend encourages us in our Christian growth and wants only the best for us. As one author put it, “A friend is one who overlooks your broken fence and admires the flowers in your garden.” They can be relied upon to be there when we need them, to listen and encourage. And hopefully, we do the same things for them. Solomon warns us that it is about quality, and not quantity.  

Amidst the clamoring noises of the crowd, we need to listen to God’s Word. He promises that He has raised a friend for us who can be like a brother or sister. If we cannot see that friend, maybe we are looking in the wrong places. And always remember, we have an ultimate friend in Jesus Christ, who never leaves us nor forsakes us. 

How much effort are you placing on growing true Christian friendships? To whom are you being a true friend? 

My Lord and my God, forgive me when I seek popularity instead of true friendships. Thank you for my faithful friends. Help me to be a better friend to them. Amen.