24 A man of many companions may come to ruin,
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
4 Wealth makes many friends,
But the poor is separated from his friend.
In a day when “friends” are counted in a Facebook column or an Instagram account, we may have “many friends” whom Solomon might have called “many companions.” There is a concern today that this generation is not going to know the meaning of real friendship. The expression, “I’ve got your back” is not an expression of real friendship but one of defending someone. Michelle Obama “had the back” of a profession football player who came out as homosexual; she was not his friend. In today’s way of thinking, one’s list of “friends,” those who follow a social media feed, provide the security of acceptance. Solomon’s words need repeating: “A man of many companions may come to ruin.”
How many friends stick in times of wealth and in times of poverty? How many friends stick when everything is going well and when everything is going bad? Felicity Huffman had many “friends” until she was exposed for bribing her daughter’s way into college. Her “friend list” got really short, really fast. The question today is not how many “friends” we have on social media, but how many friends do we have that we can count on when our money and our health run out?
I mentioned yesterday that Jesus Christ is the friend that sticks closer than a brother, and for His friendship we are eternally grateful. Yet, when we need the hand of a friend, the voice of a friend, and the care of a friend, how many can we call? May I suggest that you break out of your routine to be a friend to a friend in their time of trouble? Last Sunday, when Rikardo ended up in the hospital, a woman and her daughter from church came and spent six hours caring for him. The next day a couple from the church came and stayed with him for several hours while the hospital was struggling with Rikardo’s insurance. When either of these families have a need in the future, Rikardo will be there as they were there in his hour of need. A real “friend” is not on a social media list, no, a real friend is there when your brother or sister cannot be there. A real friend sticks closer than a brother and is your friend regardless of what they might “get” from the friendship.
Yesterday, two of our deacons and I went to visit some Iranian refugee men who are also our brothers in Christ. It was a joy to hear of their journeys to faith in Christ. These men also told us about the atrocities of Sharia Law in Iran. Whenever one leaves Islam for any other religion, they become a target for anyone faithful to Islam to kill. These brothers, most of them, left Iran because they were targeted for leaving Islam. As refugees, it takes 3-7 years for the UN to finish their case and move them to an approved country. In the meantime, they cannot work as they would be “taking jobs away from Indonesians.” As we talked, these men told us how much they like Donald Trump because he is the only one with courage enough to stand up to Iran and tell them that they are treating their people wrong. They said that Barak Hussein Obama (their emphasis on “Hussein”) did not help the Christians in Iran at all as he supported the regime with their Sharia Law. Pray with us as our church seeks to help these refugees who fled their country because of their faith in Christ.
Have a great day in the Lord,