A Friend In Need …

by Stan Mitchell
menfriend.jpg“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity” (Proverbs 17:17, ESV).
A cynical friend used to say, “A friend in need … is a pest!” His other saying was: “Where there’s a will, there’s a lawyer.” Some things you can count on, I suppose, and others you cannot.
Of course he had reversed the meaning of the well-known proverb based on the verse above, “A friend in need is a friend indeed.” My acerbic friend was referring to an acquaintance who always turned up when he needed something, but hardly ever at other times.
In contrast the proverb is declaring that when someone is your friend in adversity, when you face troubled times and he is “there for you,” then that is a real friend. That is a friend who “loves at all times,” including the hard times.
Some are fair weather friends, and others are friends you can count on in a storm. They are blizzard brethren, friends in feast and famine, the kind you really want to keep.
The vital question to ask, however, is not: “What kind of friends do you have?” but, “What kind of friend are you?”

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Stan Mitchell

Stan has preached since 1976, in Zimbabwe, California, Texas and Tennessee. He serves as preacher for the Red Walnut Church of Christ in Bath Springs, TN. He is currently Professor of Bible at Freed-Hardeman University. He is married to the former Marjorie McCarthy, and has one daughter, Tracy Watts. He is the author of four books: The Wise Get Wiser, the Foolish More Foolish: The Book of Proverbs, Give the Winds a Mighty Voice: Our Worship in Song, and Equipping the Saints for Ministry. He has recently published another book, "Will Our Faith Have Children: Developing Leadership in the Church for the Next Generation.

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