Closer than a Brother

Click on image to go to the Media Center page for the series.

Proverbs 18:24

Be committed to your friends.

We joke that my mother describes anyone she ever stood in line with at the grocery store as “my really close friend.” But there are legitimately close friends, people who have populated my mother’s life for decades. One of them is Opal. Now and again, I’ll hear Mom talk about Opal and comment on how her old friend can’t get out and about like she used to.

“Have you called her recently?” I’ll ask.

“Well, no,” she almost always answers. “I’ve been thinking that I should but . . .” Her voice trails off, leaving the sentence unfinished.

I’d fault my mother more for her lack of closeness to her friends if I were really good at the matter myself. But like her, I have a tendency to intend to call or visit someone, to recognize the “should,” but never to follow through and keep the connection close. I can think of two people, old friends from our church choir, who I knew were seriously ill and needing some human contact. I had good intentions to get with them, but somehow something always intervened. And then they were gone.

Some friends will stick closer than a brother. I’m afraid that I fail on that count far more often than I succeed. However, when we consider the example set by Jesus, the call to committed friendship should seem very important.

  • Who are your closest handful of friends? How do you ensure that you remain closely committed to them?
  • In what ways do you fall short of maintaining your friendships? In what ways do you excel?
  • How can you pray for your closest friends and for the other levels of friends in the coming week? Will you actually do it?