Reading the Word
“Do not forsake your friend and your father’s friend, and do not go to your brother’s house in the day of your calamity. Better is a neighbor who is near than a brother who is far away.” (Proverbs 27:10, ESV)
Understanding and Applying the Word
To understand this passage, we must take all of the verse together. The instruction to not go to a brother’s house during a time of calamity is connected to forsaking friends. We should not bypass the help of a friend to go to family in times of trouble. The second half of the passage reinforces this understanding by reminding us that a neighbor that is near is better than a family member who is far away.
Fostering relationships outside of family is not only necessary to share the Christian message of the gospel, but it is also wise and beneficial. This may be more true now than even when this proverb was written. We live in a much more mobile world and it is quite common for people to live where they are separated from their family by great distances. Given this separation, we need to build other support structures, which includes friends and neighbors.
Have you spent the time to build friendships? Such relationships have many benefits, including having a support system when needed. Do you have friends and neighbors that you could turn to if something happened? Could they turn to you? Take the time to build those relationships. We all need them and family is not always able to fill the role.
**If you enjoy reading Shaped by the Word, please consider sharing this post on social media. Doing so helps us reach a larger audience. Thanks for reading!
Follow Shaped by the Word on WordPress or Facebook.