Let Me Tell You ‘Bout My Best Friend
This week, Time With God is finishing our study of the book of Proverbs. Although we will read an entire chapter each day, the study questions in Digging Deeper will focus on select verses addressing a specific topic.
We were two weeks away from moving from Austin to a tiny town in Colorado. I was on the phone with a dear friend, worrying about what we were going to do with our couch. I was saying, “We don’t have room for it up there, but we got a really good deal on it.” My friend said, “Hunter, it is disgusting how little you think of God.” Wow. In that moment, he was so right that I was not even offended. He loved me enough to call out my shortsightedness.
In the passage you are about to read, we learn about how important good friends are.
- Do you have friends who will call you out for God’s glory?
Read the Word
Proverbs 27 (ESV)
27:1 Do not boast about tomorrow,
for you do not know what a day may bring.
2 Let another praise you, and not your own mouth;
a stranger, and not your own lips.
3 A stone is heavy, and sand is weighty,
but a fool's provocation is heavier than both.
4 Wrath is cruel, anger is overwhelming,
but who can stand before jealousy?
5 Better is open rebuke
than hidden love.
6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend;
profuse are the kisses of an enemy.
7 One who is full loathes honey,
but to one who is hungry everything bitter is sweet.
8 Like a bird that strays from its nest
is a man who strays from his home.
9 Oil and perfume make the heart glad,
and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.
10 Do not forsake your friend and your father's friend,
and do not go to your brother's house in the day of your calamity.
Better is a neighbor who is near
than a brother who is far away.
11 Be wise, my son, and make my heart glad,
that I may answer him who reproaches me.
12 The prudent sees danger and hides himself,
but the simple go on and suffer for it.
13 Take a man's garment when he has put up security for a stranger,
and hold it in pledge when he puts up security for an adulteress.
14 Whoever blesses his neighbor with a loud voice,
rising early in the morning,
will be counted as cursing.
15 A continual dripping on a rainy day
and a quarrelsome wife are alike;
16 to restrain her is to restrain the wind
or to grasp oil in one's right hand.
17 Iron sharpens iron,
and one man sharpens another.
18 Whoever tends a fig tree will eat its fruit,
and he who guards his master will be honored.
19 As in water face reflects face,
so the heart of man reflects the man.
20 Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied,
and never satisfied are the eyes of man.
21 The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold,
and a man is tested by his praise.
22 Crush a fool in a mortar with a pestle
along with crushed grain,
yet his folly will not depart from him.
23 Know well the condition of your flocks,
and give attention to your herds,
24 for riches do not last forever;
and does a crown endure to all generations?
25 When the grass is gone and the new growth appears
and the vegetation of the mountains is gathered,
26 the lambs will provide your clothing,
and the goats the price of a field.
27 There will be enough goats' milk for your food,
for the food of your household
and maintenance for your girls.
(Today’s questions focus on verses 6, 9, and 17.)
- Reread verses 6, 9, and 17. What do all of these verses have in common?
- How does verse 6 describe what a friend is? Why are the wounds of a friend faithful?
- Where is sweetness found in our friendships (vs. 9)?
- How are you being sharpened by and sharpening others (vs. 17)?
Respond to God
These proverbs point toward the type of friend I hope we all know: the type who will never let you get away with anything. God gives us friends for this reason. When this type of friend calls us out for a good reason, it’s impossible to be offended, as it is creating faithfulness to God in us. At the same time, we are called to be this kind of friend with others—always urging them closer to God. If our intentions are to truly serve our friends, then we must be willing to lovingly offer sound counsel—and to allow them to do the same for us.
- Ask God to provide friends who care most about your faithfulness to Jesus.
- Ask him to show you how to be this kind of friend to others.