Qualities of a Good Friend – Proverbs 18:12-24

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

“To be without a friend, marks a state of painful desolation. On the other hand, a true friend is no common acquisition. There are many pretensions, many professions of friendship. But the jewel itself is as rare as it is precious. Yet what is life without this cheering, enriching blessing? Kings have left awhile their royalties for its enjoyment. But if a man hath friends, and would keep them, he must shew himself friendly. To throw them away by neglect, caprice, unreasonable disgust, or needless offence, is to shew himself utterly unworthy of the blessing.

“Let his people bear witness, whether [Christ] be not the greatest, best, most loving, most disinterested and faithful of friends. Truly he “loveth at all times.” He is a friend to them that have no other friend; to those who have been his bitterest enemies; a friend who abides, when all others have passed away. Mark him as a present friend, known and tried, able to enter into all that most deeply affects us; in temptation opening, when needed, “a way of escape;” in affliction cheering with the Divine Comforter; “in sickness making our bed;” in death sustaining us by “his rod and staff;” in eternity “receiving us to himself.” What brother sticketh so close as he, esteeming himself more honoured, the more we lean upon him, “having no confidence in the flesh?” Are there none, who boast of their faithfulness to the creature, who yet have no sympathy with this Divine friendship, no reciprocal affection to this surpassing friend? Will not our very sensibilities condemn our indifference? Oh! let him be the first choice of youth, the tried and chosen Friend of maturing age, the Friend for eternity! Cultivate a closer acquaintance with him. Set the highest value upon his friendship. Live a life of joyous confidence on his all-sufficiency and love. Make him the constant subject of conversation. Avoid whatever is displeasing to him. Be found in those places where he meeteth his people. Long to be with him for ever. Thus testify all around–“This is my beloved, and this is my friend.” Is it not because men have no eyes to see him, that they have no heart to love him? Were but the eyes really opened, they would soon affect the heart; and all would be for him in entire devotedness of service.”

– Charles Bridges


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