Not long ago I received an email asking me to choose my favorite Bible verse and pass it on to someone else. I’m sure there are people who only have one favorite verse, but in my opinion, that takes away a lot of wisdom that the Holy Scriptures have for each of us.
Sometimes we all get into moods that cause attitude formations. Our direction changes from thought to thought. We may have been very happy at one point when we learned that Jody Pulgage had a baby and he was the split image of his mother.
Just recently, I was thinking about the true meaning of who a friend really is. We all go through times when we think our siblings are our friends only to find out later that they are just passers-by and sometimes use us for their own gain.
In the mid-1960s when I attended Ashland College (now Ashland University), I remember my Spanish teacher once saying, “You will have many associates in life. , but few friends”. I never forgot that. In fact, I have shared this with others over the years and still use this saying today.
What surprised me, when I had a falling out with people I thought were my friends, I turned to the scriptures for some comfort. When I opened my Bible, a certain passage spoke to me. Found in Sirach 6:14, it states, “A faithful friend is a strong shelter; he who finds one finds a treasure.
That tells me a lot. I then decided to leaf through the other verses and was overwhelmed with joy when I read the sixth verse preceding it: “Let your acquaintances be many, but one in a thousand your confidant.”
God knows our every thought. He knows our emotions. After all, He created us. As we establish a bonded relationship with him, he will help us through times of this and that by using his Word to comfort us.
I realize that many of you who read my column may not be Roman Catholics and therefore do not have this book in your Bible. And there are others who may not lean towards the Christian faith. So in all consideration, I want to quote a few verses from this scripture and let them speak to your heart as they spoke to mine.
Beginning with verse 15: “A faithful friend is priceless, no sum can equalize his value. (16) “A faithful friend is a life-saving remedy, such as one who fears God finds”; and (17) “For he who fears God behaves accordingly, and his friend will love himself.”
Skimming through the footnotes, we read: “True friends are not discerned by prosperity but by the trials of adversity, distress, strife, sorrow, and misfortune. Such friends are rare and their value is inestimable, a gift from God.
After reading the above, can anyone put a figure on how many true friends one has had over the years? Has there ever been a thought about why we choose the friends we have, or are these “well, I guess you are” type of relationships?
I remember a parent who once said, “No one on the outside can be your friend – only family members.” This person’s attitudes were surely shaped by adversities outside the nuclear structure.
Being back in the public eye at the Cooperstown Event Center where I sold photo note cards and fishing tackle, I saw many couples attending the vendor’s market, many of them senior citizens. I can’t help but feel the connection Sirach utters.
My first choice of verse comes from Numbers. I remember it was also one of my mother’s favorites. From chapter 6, beginning with verse 24: “The Lord bless you and keep you! (25) May the Lord enlighten you on his face and be gracious to you! (26) May the Lord look upon you with kindness and give you peace!
What better way is there to bless the troubled spirit than with these hopeful words?