10 Do not forsake your friend or a friend of your family,
and do not go to your relative’s house when disaster strikes you—
better a neighbor nearby than a relative far away.
Keep Your Friends Close
So often these days we move from one place to another and it is difficult to form lasting relationships. In this industrial age, what we do and how we produce is more important than who we are. The Bible puts relationships before everything else, especially our relatioship with God. To have no friends is not to be free from ties, but it is to be a hollow human being. Simon and Garfunkel’s song, “I am a Rock” is actually a song about the tragic irony of a person who thinks they are strong but whose heart is cold and alone.
To this end, unless God tells us to move, we need to cultivate relationships in a community. Go and have yogurt with a neighbour and get to know them. Arrange to go to the zoo together. Ask them questions about themselves and look for points of connection. In times of trouble you will find that you do not have to go great distances to find comfort and solace. Your friends will be right there.
- Whom should you not forsake?
- Where should you not go in disaster?
- Is this verse advocating local relationships in your opinion?
- What local relationships have you cultivated?
- How could you develop friendships with local people this week?