If I had to give a piece of advice to a young man about a place to live, I think I should say, ‘sacrifice almost everything to live where you can be near your friends.’ (CS Lewis)
My men’s group once hosted a visitor from Tulsa. While making introductions, this man said something that I’d never heard before, or since. Each member of his men’s group in Tulsa had made a vow to never accept a job that would require them to move out of the city. I was stunned. They had taken the Scripture about being a friend who sticks closer than a brother (Proverb 18:24) and put it into practical motion.
They had come to the place in their friendships that the love and support they (and their families) received from one another was of greater value to them than promotions, raises, and career advancement. So, they pledged to stay put. According to this man, not a single individual voiced regret over their decision.
I’m not advocating living in one place forever; I don’t believe that’s necessary (nor is it required by Scripture). However, I am suggesting that we never attempt to do this thing called “life” alone. If we’re honest, finding real friends – those you can call at 2 a.m. and know they’ll respond – is a real challenge. That type of friend is very rare, which is why Lewis emphasized remaining near them.
It’s rarely focused upon, but Proverb 18:24 also says that ruin awaits those who have no reliable friends. Therefore finding a reliable friend who sticks closer than a brother is just wise. And by the way, perhaps the best way to find that type of friend is to be that type of friend!
Who are your closest friends? Would you forego a promotion to remain near them? What can you do this week to be a friend who sticks closer than a brother? –Dave
One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (Proverb 18:24)
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