Proverbs 17:17

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity” (Proverbs 17:17).

Everyone wants a good friend. It’s a lot easier to have good friends if you are a good friend.

Scripture says that a good friend loves at all times. Do you love at all times? What does it mean to “love”?

I had a friend whom I loved. When we spent time together we had lots of fun. The only problem: we rarely spent much time together. I quickly came to realize that if a better option came along–someone with more popularity or more money–she would often cancel our plans to hang out with them.

I responded by trying to please her. I never questioned her choices; I did not stand up for my faith convictions in her presence.

Is that how Scripture teaches a friend to “love”?

Scripture teaches to love at all times means you are a friend regardless of whether something better comes along. You remain a friend even during bad times. It teaches that friend love is sacrificial.

Jesus was the ultimate example of what it means to be a friend. Jesus is our friend. And He loves us so much He died to save us from eternal death. Jesus teaches the greatest love is to lay down one’s life for a friend (John 15:13).

That’s a big sacrifice for friendship.

We won’t all have the opportunity to die for a friend. We will have the opportunity, however, to lay down our “life” in a less literal way.

How? By speaking biblical truth into our friend’s life. We lay down our “life” because we risk getting shunned and ridiculed by standing up for the Word of God and defying popular culture.

We die to self when we give up “appearances” and finally get real to save our friends from eternal death.

We die to self when we swallow our pride and tell our friends what they need to hear even if they don’t want to hear it.

Planting the seeds of truth in love and not judgment manifests true love. Encouraging friends to change direction will not always be pretty.

We may lose face in the world but we become a true friend who truly loves at all times.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Who is your best friend? List three characteristics that make him or her a good friend:

2. How would others describe your ability to be a loving friend? Do you stick by friends through thick and thin? Or do you look for a better option that may help boost your popularity?

3. Good friends tell us the hard truth to keep us on the right track with God. Do you (Would you) accept the hard truths they may tell you?

4. Would you be willing to be a loving friend by calling a friend out on their wrong choices? How could you do that in a loving, but truthful way?


Dear God, thank you for giving me good friends. I admit that sometimes I do not love my friends at all times. Sometimes it seems like other people are having more fun.  I want to stand by my friends even when they are having a difficult time, or need support.  Help me not be afraid to lovingly speak truth to my friends, even if it’s difficult to hear.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.