Verse of the Day

"A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity."

~Proverbs 17:17

Today's Devotional Thought

July 02, 2012 by Rachel Piferi



Do you have a loyal friend? Are you a loyal friend? What does it mean to be loyal?

Loyalty is such an essential component of friendship. If you look up the definition of loyalty, you will get words like steadfast, faithful, unwavering, devoted, trustworthy, and dependable.

Are you a loyal friend? Are you trustworthy, dependable, steadfast, faithful? When reading about friendship in the Bible, the verse that really promotes loyalty in friendships is Proverbs 17:17. And, looking at it in different translations helps really see the essence of loyalty. Here is that verse in several different translations:

“A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.” (NLT)

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” (NIV)

“Friends love through all kinds of weather, and families stick together in all kinds of trouble.” (The Message).

In this verse, you see phrases like always, and all times, and all kinds of weather. A loyal friend is always there. Not just in the good times. But, always there: in good and bad. In fact, the second part of todays verse, indicates that a deeper relationships (a kinship) is created in times of adversity. When you are there for your friend in times of need, a brotherhood or sisterhood develops. It grows deeper, stronger, more meaningful.

Furthermore, these verses suggest that loyalty involves action, not just saying you’ll be there. A friend actually is always loyal or loves at all times. The use of a verb in this verse suggests that loyalty is enacted, not just spoken.

I think the best place to see the actions of loyalty is in Matthew 26. In this familiar passage, Peter is professing his loyalty to Jesus. He says:

“Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!” And all the disciples said the same.” (vs. 35)

And, Peter was vehement that he would remain loyal to Jesus and did not believe Jesus when Jesus told him that he would deny that he knew Jesus. However, despite Peter’s vehement loyalty in his words, we all know that his actions were quite different just a few verses later when he denied Jesus three times. In fact, you can see that Peter instantly saw his disloyalty because he wept when he denied Jesus the third time.

Ultimately, our actions really prove our loyalty. Not our words. And, this can be seen further in I John 3:

“Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.”
~I John 3:18 (NIV)

So, are you loyal? We should all strive to be loyal in our friendships. However, it is important to note that loyalty usually emerges when we are in an uncomfortable situation. And, in those situations, we may be inclined to protect ourselves at the expense of our friend. That is what Peter did.

Have you done that? We need to remember that we really show our loyalty in those difficult times. And, it may take a little sacrifice of ourselves to show that loyalty.

So, as you are thinking of ways to improve your relationships, remember that you may need to prove your loyalty with your actions and your words. Stand by your friend in good and bad times. Always. At all times. In all kinds of weather. And through those displays of loyalty, you will see your relationship blossom.

Memorize this verse today:

"A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity."
~Proverbs 17:17

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