Friday, April 9, 2010

What about your friends?

When preparing this entry, I had that old TLC song stuck in my head:
What about your friends will they stand their ground
Will they let you down yeah, yeah
What about your friends are they gonna be low down
Will they ever be around or will they turn their backs on you


Oddly, those aren't the words as I remember them.  Then again, I'm not good with music.

Of all the books in the Bible, the one with the most about friendship is Sirach.  It has thoughts on less than ideal friends:
Sir 6:7  When you gain a friend, gain him through testing, and do not trust him hastily.
Sir 6:8  For there is a friend who is such at his own convenience, but will not stand by you in your day of trouble.
Sir 6:9  And there is a friend who changes into an enemy, and will disclose a quarrel to your disgrace.
Sir 6:10  And there is a friend who is a table companion, but will not stand by you in your day of trouble.
Sir 6:11  In your prosperity he will make himself your equal, and be bold with your servants;
Sir 6:12  but if you are brought low he will turn against you, and will hide himself from your presence.
Sir 6:13  Keep yourself far from your enemies, and be on guard toward your friends.

Sir 37:1  Every friend will say, "I too am a friend"; but some friends are friends only in name.
Sir 37:2  Is it not a grief to the death when a companion and friend turns to enmity?  

(Isn't that the truth?  I hate that feeling!)

And it has thoughts on true friends:
Sir 6:14  A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter: he that has found one has found a treasure.
Sir 6:15  There is nothing so precious as a faithful friend, and no scales can measure his excellence.
Sir 6:16  A faithful friend is an elixir of life; and those who fear the Lord will find him.
Sir 6:17  Whoever fears the Lord directs his friendship aright, for as he is, so is his neighbor also. 

Sir 7:18  Do not exchange a friend for money, or a real brother for the gold of Ophir.

Sir 29:10  Lose your silver for the sake of a brother or a friend, and do not let it rust under a stone and be lost. 

Sir 37:6  Do not forget a friend in your heart, and be not unmindful of him in your wealth.

There is discussion on problems within a friendship:
Sir 22:19  A man who pricks an eye will make tears fall, and one who pricks the heart makes it show feeling.
Sir 22:20  One who throws a stone at birds scares them away, and one who reviles a friend will break off the friendship.
Sir 22:21  Even if you have drawn your sword against a friend, do not despair, for a renewal of friendship is possible.
Sir 22:22  If you have opened your mouth against your friend, do not worry, for reconciliation is possible; but as for reviling, arrogance, disclosure of secrets, or a treacherous blow--in these cases any friend will flee.

It also identifies who would be a good choice for friendship:
Sir 37:12  But stay constantly with a godly man whom you know to be a keeper of the commandments, whose soul is in accord with your soul, and who will sorrow with you if you fail. 

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