Today as I begin to write I hear the word, “friend.” It seems generic in so many ways, and yet, I believe we must be reminded of the importance of friendships.

We know verses about friends, especially from Proverbs. However, the book of Job has some thoughts as well. Job had some pretty interesting “friends.”

Job 6:14 “A friend should be kind to an unhappy man,even to one who abandons Shaddai.

Job 42:10 When Iyov (Job) prayed for his friends, Adonai restored his fortunes; Adonai gave Iyov twice as much as he had had before.

A well known Proverb:

Proverb 17:17 A friend shows his friendship at all times —it is for adversity that [such] a brother is born.

Proverbs 27:6 Wounds from a friend are received as well-meant, but an enemy’s kisses are insincere.

There are more I could add, but the point I want to make is: community is important. Friends are important. The friends we surround ourselves with is important.

Job’s friends were not always the most encouraging. Even God had to deal with them. However, in the end, God had Job PRAY for those friends and because he did, Adonai blessed Job with twice as much as before.

This is why Jesus tells us to:

Luke 6:27-28 Nevertheless, to you who are listening, what I say is this: “Love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.

When our friends hurt us, we need to understand that “wounds from a friend are received as well-meant.” Friends will hurt us. Friends will challenge us. Instead of seeing them as an enemy, we should see them as someone who sticks with us through adversity.

As I have stated before, and as we all know, life has changed. I was listening to a rabbi share about “going back to normal.” His question was, “Should we go back to ‘normal’?” Normal was going here and there and “busyness.” When God placed a “STOP” on the world, maybe He did so for a reason. Maybe we need to get back to family and friends. Maybe it’s time to leave behind the hurt and find a way to BE His love.

I challenge you ALL to stop and look at your friendships. How should you reassess what is happening with them? How should you stop and consider family? How should you begin to treat those you believe have mistreated you? Are we, as a family of God, willing to WALK with each other even if we disagree with each other?

Stop today and pray for those who have hurt you. Bless those who have cursed you. Leave them at the foot of the cross and give them to the Father.

Then, place yourself into the arms of the Father. Find HIS LOVE inside and be that blessing to those you meet.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rose Horton

Photo by Duy Pham on Unsplash