Proverbs 27

1 Don’t brag about tomorrow, since you don’t know what the day will bring.

2 Let someone else praise you, not your own mouth—a stranger, not your own lips.

3 A stone is heavy and sand is weighty, but the resentment caused by a fool is even heavier.

4 Anger is cruel, and wrath is like a flood, but jealousy is even more dangerous.

5 An open rebuke is better than hidden love!

6 Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.

7 A person who is full refuses honey, but even bitter food tastes sweet to the hungry.

8 A person who strays from home is like a bird that strays from its nest.

9 The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense.

10 Never abandon a friend—either yours or your father’s. When disaster strikes, you won’t have to ask your brother for assistance. It’s better to go to a neighbor than to a brother who lives far away.

11 Be wise, my child, and make my heart glad.Then I will be able to answer my critics.

12 A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.

13 Get security from someone who guarantees a stranger’s debt. Get a deposit if he does it for foreigners.

14 A loud and cheerful greeting early in the morning will be taken as a curse!

15 A quarrelsome wife is as annoying as constant dripping on a rainy day.

16 Stopping her complaints is like trying to stop the wind or trying to hold something with greased hands.

17 As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.

18 As workers who tend a fig tree are allowed to eat the fruit, so workers who protect their employer’s interests will be rewarded.

19 As a face is reflected in water, so the heart reflects the real person.

20 Just as Death and Destruction are never satisfied, so human desire is never satisfied.

21 Fire tests the purity of silver and gold, but a person is tested by being praised.

22 You cannot separate fools from their foolishness, even though you grind them like grain with mortar and pestle.

23 Know the state of your flocks, and put your heart into caring for your herds,
24 for riches don’t last forever, and the crown might not be passed to the next generation.
25 After the hay is harvested and the new crop appears and the mountain grasses are gathered in,
26 your sheep will provide wool for clothing, and your goats will provide the price of a field.
27 And you will have enough goats’ milk for yourself, your family, and your servant girls.

The Value of a Friend

I’ve been thinking about friendship a lot lately.  Mulling over in my mind the intricacies of being a good friend to another, and questioning whether I truly value the friends that I have.  Sometimes I feel like I take them for granted far too often.  I’ve realized that over the last few months I’ve let some important relationships drift, it just doesn’t feel good.  I miss time spent with my closest buds drinking coffee, talking life, giving and receiving advice, celebrating victories, and praying over concerns.

When Chris asked me to write a post about Proverbs 27, I found myself overwhelmed by the number of different “themes” in this chapter.  Solomon addresses humility, foolishness, jealousy, wisdom, marriage, authenticity, and shepherding, among others.  But the theme that resonated most with me was friendship – these verses are full of truth and challenge, a mix of sweet and savory spread through the chapter like Nutella on a pretzel (try it – it’s amazingly awesome!).

You can read the whole of Proverbs 27 here, but I’ll focus the rest of this post on the specific verses that speak to the value of friendship.

5 An open rebuke  is better than hidden love!

6 Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.

Have you ever been rebuked by a friend?  I have, and it didn’t feel real great at the time.  In fact, it felt lousy.  I experienced the whole spectrum of emotion: anger, denial, sadness, and grief.

They say that time heals all wounds.  As the days passed, I began to evaluate the situation from a completely different angle and realized that I really had a sincere friend in this person.  He loved me enough to call me out in an area of my life that needed to change.  He didn’t take the easy way out by ignoring the conflict or even taking a more gentle approach to correction.  He was direct.  He wasn’t afraid to give me a flesh wound.  He knew it was for my good and that I would see it eventually.  I did and I’m still grateful.

Do you have a few friends who are bold with their love?  Are you that kind of friend to those in your circle of influence?

9 The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense.

 10 Never abandon a friend— either yours or your father’s. When disaster strikes, you won’t have to ask your brother for assistance. It’s better to go to a neighbor than to a brother who lives far away.

These two verses speak to me of the value of having mentors that invest their wisdom and truth into my life.  I’ve learned how important it is to cultivate friendships within my peer group, but I’ve also got to seek out critical relationships with a few older men who have already lived through the seasons of life that currently overwhelm me.  I’m very fortunate to have two such men that I lean on for solid advice.

One of them is a formal mentor at work who is also a Christ-follower and about ten years older than me.  When we discuss my career growth and challenges, he naturally weaves it within the context of our shared biblical worldview.  We talk about life balance, keeping priorities in sight (God and family), and dealing with work conflict and politics in a God-honoring fashion.  I always leave my meetings with him encouraged and grounded.

The other man is in his early 70’s with seemingly endless life experience.  His best “heartfelt counsel” has always been to “focus on the majors and not the minors.”  With his guidance I’ve come to realize that most of my problems are really in the “minors” category.  It’s all about perspective.

Do you have a sage or two in your life?  Are you investing in the generation coming up behind you?

17 As iron sharpens iron,  so a friend sharpens a friend.

This is a quintessential Guy Verse.  We quote it often at Men’s Ministry events and in discussions during our Men’s Bible Studies.  But do we really understand how it works?  Many times the best “sharpening” we can get is from a man who is not our BFF.  If we both share the same opinion and viewpoint, one of us is not necessary.  I’ll be authentically honest here – I am way more comfortable around people who are similar to me.  But those friendships, while important and special, don’t always challenge me in my growth as a man.  I’ve learned after many years to listen and process different viewpoints from men in diverse walks of life, and take in what truth doesn’t violate my moral compass.  Some I still let go of, but only after careful evaluation.

Are you stepping outside your comfort zone to befriend others who are different from you?  Do you embrace the abrasiveness of the sharpening process, or do you run from it?

Jon lives in Houston and writes daily at his blog about being a husband, a dad of two teenagers, and someone trying to be true and authentic through it all.  He’s also a big doofus with a weird sense of humor that only about half of most people get.  Jon believes that there’s plenty of hilarity in the everyday events of life and writes about the absurdity of the mundane. You can contact Jon via email or follow him on Twitter or Facebook.


About Chris Goforth

West Coast Hipster Ninja husband and Papa- allowing Jesus to impact every aspect of my life while raising 6 kids, taking photos, being outdoors & playing Settles of Catan. View all posts by Chris Goforth

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: