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January 9 – Proverbs on friends and neighbors

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” – Proverbs 17:17 

Scripture reading: Proverbs 19:1-6

It is very sad when a person has few or no friends. It is wonderful when you have friends – friends you are able to support and friends who support you back. You can pour out your hearts to each other. You can laugh, be sad and grow together. Those who like being alone rob themselves of one of the greatest blessings God gave to His children and they are robbing God of the praises that come to Him through friendships.

But here are some warnings the wise man wanted to pass on regarding friendship and neighbors. Choose your friends carefully. Consider what you can give to a friendship, not just what you can get. Don’t choose friends because they are rich or have influence. Choose friends who won’t abandon you in difficult times. (Do you remember David and Jonathan’s faithfulness to each other?) Don’t be a fairweather friend either. A true friend will speak the truth to you, even if it hurts. A good friend will challenge your sinful actions. A good friend will challenge you to grow in your faith.

You must also consider there may be friends you have to give up because they don’t build you up. That is a small price to pay.

Christ died for you and brought you into His family with many wonderful brothers and sisters. Moreover, He is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Enjoy Christian company and work together for Christ’s glorious kingdom.

Suggestions for prayer

Pray that you will be unselfish in your friendships and that you will work together with friends and neighbors for Christ’s kingdom and that you will always speak the truth.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Mitchell Persaud is pastor of New Horizon URC in Scarborough, ON, a mission church under the oversight of Cornerstone URC in London, ON. He was born in Guyana, South America, into a Hindu home, baptized Roman Catholic, raised Pentecostal and then became Reformed.

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