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Old 03-22-2012, 09:25 PM   #1
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Default Friends, indeed.

I have a friend Kathy and I have known for about 30 years. We met in a church orchestra. She has recently lost her brother. She is in her early 40’s and feels a bit too young to be loosing siblings. And she is right; she is too young to be loosing siblings.

I don’t know what it’s like to loose a brother. I only have one. On two occasions I have spent very long days in hospital waiting rooms, wondering if I would get him back after major heart surgery, once when we were young and once about two years ago.

All of our lives, before the second surgery, we never hugged much. Now it has become our standard greeting. Life is too short. And it gives you perspective when your loved one goes out dancing on the edge of eternity for a few days.

So how to comfort one whose sibling has passed way too young? The one who has cancer? The one with no job who is losing their home?

Friends.

The Lord pressed this verse on my mind, Proverbs 18:24B, “there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

(This does not discount the value of a brother or diminish her loss in any way. The writer of the proverb acknowledges a brother is to be close.)

What impressed me here as I thought about this verse, especially when taken in context, is that what one needs to avoid ruin, to survive tragedy, to banish loneliness and to heal the grievous wound is a few good friends. Not many, (as we shall see) but just a few that stick by you so close you’d think them brothers, and they “stay stuck” there no matter what.

Lost in translation.

Here are four popular translations of Proverbs 18:24

New International Version: “One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

King James Version: “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.”

American Standard Version: “He that maketh many friends doeth it to his own destruction; But there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.”

Amplified Bible: “The man of many friends [a friend of all the world] will prove himself a bad friend, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

Radio’s Theologically Correct Amplification: “Most of our friends are unreliable, high maintenance, joy sucking, self centered, destructive and toxic. That’s the way people are. But once in a great while you’ll find the genuine article, someone who will love you with the love of Jesus, no matter how hard life gets or how bad you hurt they’ll be there, stuck right by your side. “

I couldn’t help notice all translations agree there is “a” friend, singular, uno, mono e mono, just one, that sticks closer than a brother, with Jesus love, no matter what.

I have always thought myself short of real friends. Plenty of people I liked, but not many true friends. I can count them on one hand. I always thought that due to my overload of introversion and dearth of social skills. But as it turns out, my numbers are about right; just a handful, a precious few.

So that’s all she needs to get through. Just a few of the genuine article, someone who will love her with the love of Jesus, no matter how hard life gets or how bad she hurts they’ll be there, stuck right by her side.

Those she chooses are to be envied, as it is a position of high honor and esteem.
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Old 03-22-2012, 11:48 PM   #2
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Thank you Wade.

I just had to say how well you stated the true meaning of this verse.

I have a very friends that are like my brother. I may not talk to them often, but when I do, it is like we we have not had any time between us. Those friendships are one of the things that I cherish most of all. No matter what happens in life, I can count on them.

I read your post to my wife and daughters because I felt that this is a message that all can benefit from. I would also like to use this post in a devotion to a group of kids at church that I help lead. With your permission of course.

Very deep and thought provoking.

Thanks for your valuable insight.
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Old 03-23-2012, 05:42 AM   #3
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Permission granted.
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Old 03-23-2012, 05:55 AM   #4
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Very inspiring Wade, thanks! My two brothers and I have managed to stay close all these years, they are my best friends too.



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