I wish I had a formula that you could implement and the result would be that every one of your friends would stand by you when the going gets tough. The Apostle Paul commented concerning an event in his life as he stood for the truth of Christ;
2 Timothy 4:16 “At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.”
Paul knew the pain of being left in the lurch, of supposed friends “having his back” only to discover that at best they would “have his back” from afar, it at all. Experiencing this betrayal of trust was very painful to Paul and it is commendable that he asked forgiveness for them. It takes a spiritually large person to forgive.
On the subject of fair weather friends, Christian Nestell Bovee wrote:
“False friends are like our shadow, keeping close to us while we walk in the sunshine, but leaving us the instant we cross into the shade.”
In the hour of the passion of Christ the scripture records, “And they all forsook him, and fled.” Mark 14:50.
If you attempt to serve Christ seriously you will find over long years that when the sunshine of popularity shines you have friends by the dozen and followers by the score. However when dark clouds of some failure, a defeat of some sort, or the “Biggie” of your group frowns at the mention of your name, it is possible to call all your remaining friends into a phone booth to discuss the matter! Having spent a large part of my life/ministry in the shade, I write from experience, but as Paul, I have shed any lingering bitterness and seriously ask that abandonment not be laid to another’s charge.
Again, the Bible gives no clear instruction on how to make people like or continue to like you. We, at the risk, the probability of suffering the loss of friends by standing for what we are convinced is right, is the price of a clear heart before the Lord.
Thus the larger and answerable question is; How can I be a friend for all seasons?
The biblical mandate to be such a friend is clear as Solomon stated here:
Proverbs 17:17 “A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”
There is a quaint but accurate saying based on the above, “A friend walks in when the world walks out.” I put it this way, Adversity is a dual poled magnet attracting true friends to you while repelling false ones. Hence trouble is very good.
One of my major goals is to Be a true friend rather than wasting time trying to figure out who is or is not one. Time and trouble will tell.
Copyright © 2015 Larry Lilly
For IT help check out Oral Deckard