Friendship – "The Show" – Part I
Study Text: Proverbs 18:24 – "A man that hath friends must shew himself
friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother." (KJ)
At least once a week on Nickelodeon, a young lady that many of us grew up
with goes through her own personal hell. Her name – Jan Brady. Her problem –
lack of popularity. For you "Brady Bunch" fans, and even for you who
have just watched the show, you know that Jan wants to be the what… The Most
Popular Girl in School. Unfortunately, some of us fall into the same category.
We want to be that person who tells the best joke, gets invited to go out with
the gang or is always ensured a spot on the guest list at each party.
So why is it that many seek popularity? Because they seek the praise of men.
But the praise of men runs out extremely fast, and we will show you why. To do
so, let’s look at the first part of our text: "A man that hath friends
must shew himself friendly." Now the first time I read this, I took it to
mean that in order to have friends you must be friendly. BUT THAT’S NOT WHAT
THIS SCRIPTURE IS SAYING! So to prove this let’s break this portion of the
The verse states "A man that hath friends." Now let’s look at the
"The man of many friends" (Amplified)
"A man of many friends" (New American Standard)
"A man of many companions" (New International)
Therefore, what we have in this scripture is a man with many friends,
companions, homies, partners, or whatever. And we all know that in this world,
to keep whatever you have will cost you something. So to keep his entourage
this man must do one thing: "shew himself friendly." Let’s look at
this again, "shew." The new King James translates it as
"show." So why didn’t King Solomon tell us that this man must
"BE" friendly? Because usually what all these other people want from
this man is A SHOW!!!
They want the "glitter" of that person. They want to be associated
with the money, prestige, flash or power that has made that person popular. I
really like the way one pro athlete put it (while he was at the top of his
game): "They say they love me; they don’t love me. Sure they do as long as
I’m running ‘dem touchdowns… But you let the touchdowns stop and see what
they say then." This statement leads perfectly into the reference
scripture in my bible– Proverbs 17:17, "A friend loveth at all
times…" Regardless of the failures, shortcomings, difficulties,
hardships or trials, a friend loveth at all times.
Last football season, the athlete mentioned above had a dismal season, and
he basically got "No-Love." Why? Because the source of that
pseudo-love was the performance or "THE SHOW" he was giving. How will
it affect him personally? Well, I believe that he will come out of his
situation emotionally well because he knows that it is pseudo-love and not
We should learn to evaluate our relationships/friendships with the two
questions that follow:
(1) What must I do to keep this relationship:
This one is so simple. All you have to ask yourself is this: "What must
I do to keep the other person in the relationship/friendship happy? Is it
something that you can do for the rest of your life? Is it bending over
backwards to keep that person pleased or simply loving him/her with the Love of
God? The choices you have are often clear indicators telling you whether or not
that friend is worth keeping.
(2) What is the likely result of the relationship:
The Amplified Bible states this: "The man of many friends (a friend of
all the world) will prove himself a bad friend." The remainder of the
scripture also gives us the expected end of the man with many friends:
"ruin" (NIV & NAS). By attempting to please everyone and befriend
everyone you will get two results: Ruined and Labeled a bad friend!!
I know, I hear you, "Wait a minute Bro. Yon. All I did was try to be a
good friend. I kissed up, bent over backward, lied for them, cheated for them.
I did everything for my friend and you’re saying that the end of that
relationship will be my ruin, and I’ll be deemed a bad friend?" Yes!
That’s exactly what I’m saying. Simply put, because your friendship was/is
based on a lie, that very relationship will come crumbling down because a lie
will never stand the test of time. Somewhere that lie will break down, and the
truth will be revealed.
To close, we will leave you with this question: Is your desire for a friend
a desire for the Kingdom of God or the Kingdom of You! If we look back to 1
Samuel 16:1 – 13, we see Israel in a similar situation. Israel wanted a king
just because everyone else had a king. They had a Lord, but they wanted a king
(see Monday Message: "The Heart – Pre-study" @ Http://Eyon.Us.Fsu.Edu/Biblestudy/Messages/7-26-99.html).
Before asking for friends we should ask ourselves, "Do I have a Lord? Is
Jesus the Lord of my life or is He my Savior?"
If you have Jesus in your life JUST to save you then that’s all He’s
obligated to do—save you. So make Him your Lord, and fear (respect, honor and
follow) Him and His commandments. Psalms 34:9 states, "O fear the LORD, ye
his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him." You can have
every desire, dream, want and vision fulfilled if He is your Lord. But also
know this and know it well: the Lord will not give you something—including
friends/relationships—that will pull you away from Him. Therefore, place Him
first now and always, and He will give you the desires of your heart.