Seems like everyone is “Brother Getchell” or “Sister Collins” when you run into someone and you want to say hey! Seems like everyone is “a brother” or “a sister” if you are close friends with someone. Bottom line is – when you consider someone who is so close to you that you consider them “family” you acknowledge them as that…
But we need to rethink what we call people if we aren’t willing to act it out!
Proverbs 17:17 says, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother, is born for a time of adversity.” The definition of adversity is a ‘state of hardship or unfortunate event’. This is times when life is hard, people are down on their luck and feel like things couldn’t get any worse.
Let’s break the verse down:
“A friend loves at all times…” — this doesn’t say a friend loves SOME times or when it’s EASY to love or when it’s CONVIENENT to love or even when it’s BENEFICIAL to love. It says a friend loves at ALL times. This means through good times, bad times, arguments, hurt feelings, misunderstandings, chaos, defeat and every other verb and adjective you can think of.
“… and a brother…” — so who is the brother? This could go two ways — either family as in your blood related sibling or a friend you consider such a close friend that you actually consider them like a brother. Either way it’s a step above the your basic friendship. This person has a relationship so close with you that you tell people “I would do anything for them”.
“… is born for a time of adversity.” — this is the part of the verse no one wants to listen to. This is when times get hard and you still stick around. However when your feelings are hurt and instead of trying to mend the relationship REGARDLESS of what has happen you turn your head from it and would rather the relationship become distant (which all you are really saying is you don’t care). By definition remember, adversity is a state of hardship or an unfortunate event. You would not want someone ‘kicking you while you were down’… why would you do it to them?
The point is, we are created to be there for each other. Regardless of what ‘level’ you want to put yourself or your loved ones on (i.e. friend or brother) the rules are really the same. Be there for each other in ALL times not just SOME of the times.
Some supporting verses:
Proverbs 18:24 “A man of too many friends comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Now this scripture is referring to Jesus as being the friend who sticks closer than a brother (and we saw how close a brother is supposed to be in the previous verse). However, look at the first part of the scripture – “A man of too many friends comes to ruin…” When I thought about this what struck me is this is like the person who tries to fit in with everyone but has no true friends. The person who strives to be so popular but at the end of the day doesn’t know who he really is in himself. The attempt to spread himself so thin essentially ruins him.
Going back to Jesus being the best friend we could have who is closer than a brother… If you want to truly cement this relationship Jesus tells us how to be a brother or sister with Him: “For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.” – Matthew 12:50. It’s that simple! Review the minimum requirements God sets for us.