4The rich have many friends;
the poor have none.
5Dishonest witnesses and liars
won't escape punishment.
6Everyone tries to be friends
of those who can help them.
7If you are poor,
your own relatives reject you,
and your friends are worse.
When you really need them,
they are not there.
Nothing new under the sun . . . people still enjoy being around success, money, gifts, and receiving public recognition. What strikes us, by contrast, in this reading is the bond between friends and riches.
It’s easy to have lots of friends when you shower them with presents, goodies, trips, privileges and advantages of all sorts! Easy to be surrounded with ‟bought” friendship. But honestly, what kind of friendship is this? If the number of your friends depends on what you give them, then the rich would get more and the poor would lose them.
You could probably say that the rich get more interested admirers but the poor lose them.
All of this should make us reevaluate how we think about friendship. While we all want friends that are true and sincere, we must also reflect on how we keep them. When all is said and done, what do we really hope for in a friend? Everyone will have a different answer but it’s likely that sincerity, confidence, sharing and acceptance wil be on your list. This “list” should be just as much for the friends I want to have as it is for myself, a friend to others.
I like to remember what Jesus said to his disciples: “I call you my friends” (John 15:15). With these words, he shows us that personal relations are more important than gifts, appearances or whatever else may strike the eye.
Let’s seek to be friends with the qualities that we look for in others. May God grant us the grace of having true and sincere friends.
Lord, I do want to have good friends and I do ask that in your grace I might be that good friend to those around me. You are the greatest friend that I could ever have! I am so grateful for your love. Thank you.