A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. Proverbs 17:17
When Job lost everything (Job 1–2), his three friends came to commiserate with him. Their intent was to be loving: to “mourn with him, and to comfort him” (Job 2:11). They wept, mourned, and sat in silence with Job for seven days, seemingly loving him as best they could. But then, after a week, they couldn’t help themselves. They had to explain to Job that his suffering was his fault, that he was being punished by God. They had no proof beyond their judgments and opinions. Their support turned to legalism and discouragement—exactly what Job (in the midst of great suffering) didn’t need.
If Job’s friends had stuck with their original efforts, things would have been better: consolation, love, shared sorrow. No words of advice, just acts that demonstrated, “We know you are hurting. We don’t know the answers. We are here to go through this with you.” That’s what friends are for—love in times of adversity.
If you know someone who is suffering, take the love-leap. Sit with them, pray with them, write to them, take a meal to them, babysit their kids. A friend loves at all times.
Our job is to love people we don’t have to love. Keith Miller
TRUE FRIEND, TRUE BROTHER – The Best Sermon Ever Preached on Proverbs 17:17 // Dr. A.R. Bernard