A Friend in Need – Today’s Family Devotion

A Friend in Need

Bible Reading: Proverbs 17:17

A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need. Proverbs 17:17

During Christmas vacation, Jacob and Daniel built a fearsome hideout. With their snow fort towering at the top of a hill in Jacob’s backyard, the boys dominated snowball fights against the other neighborhood kids. They were a winning team.

Back at school Jacob followed Daniel everywhere. Daniel started to wish he had a few ice chunks to toss at Jacob. Sure, he’d had fun building the fort with Jacob, but he had other friends at school. So he ignored Jacob-and Daniel’s coldness left Jacob wondering what had happened to their friendship.

So what’s up? Daniel and Jacob ran into trouble because they had different ex­pectations of what it means to be friends.

Take a minute to talk about it: Exactly what is a friend?

Which of these ideas about the meaning of friendship do you think are true?

□ True □ False     A friend is any human being I know.

□ True □ False     A friend knows me totally and likes me anyway.

□ True □ False     A friend is someone with whom I can share my secrets and feelings.

□ True □ False     A friend is a person I eat lunch with every day.

□ True □ False     A friend has the same hobbies and interests I do.

□ True □ False     A friend loans me money for a soda.

That’s a bit of a trick quiz, because there are many different kinds of friends. Some are casual friends—classmates, neighbors, or adults we chat with but don’t know well. Our close friends include people we choose to eat lunch with or sit by in class. But what we all need most are committed friends who will remain our friends no matter what.

Most people have a crowd-big or small-of casual friends, fewer close friends, and just a handful of committed friends who truly care for us and accept us. We let them see inside us. We trust them with our secrets, hurts, and joys.

We might know loads of people. But if we have no special friends, we’ll still feel lonely. God wants each of us to be a committed friend and to let committed friends into our life, because they’re the only ones who can take away our loneliness. When you make good friends, say thanks to God. They’re a gift from him!

TALK: Who are your committed friends? How do they show they are committed to you? How do they show God’s love to you?

PRAY: Ask God today to guide you to a few trustworthy friends.

ACT: Get together this week with someone with whom you’d like to become a better friend.