Here are four great ways that you can help your friend.
Rejoice with Them
One way you can help a friend is to be a friend. I mean you can rejoice with them when they have reason to. If they’ve received something good, acknowledge and celebrate it, and “Rejoice with those who rejoice” (Rom 12:15a). There is “a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance” (Eccl 3:4), so learn what your friend needs from you, but by all means, don’t be jealous or envious if they are blessed, but rejoice with them, so that they might do the same for you.
Weep with Them
The opposite end of rejoicing with them when they rejoice is to “weep with those who weep” (Rom12:15b). Solomon’s words also apply in this case, as there is “a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance” (Eccl 3:4). It’s much harder to go through a time of sorrow alone than it is when you have someone to weep with you. A true “friend loves at all times, and a brother (or sister) is born for adversity” (Prov 17:17), and most of us have that one, true “friend who sticks closer than a brother” or sister (Prov 18:24), so weep with them when they weep; love them when they need it more; stick closer to them than their own blood brothers and sisters; and you will help your friend in so many ways.
Be with Them
Returning to the God-given Wisdom of Solomon, he writes, “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil” (Eccl 4:9). One example is, “if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up” (Eccl 4:10)! Even more so, “if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone” (Eccl 4:11). Solomon’s point is that we can work together and receive “a good reward for [our] toil.” We can give our friends a helping hand when they fall, and in keeping warm in the winter, he may mean we can have a deep, close relationship (might even be a spouse), and that will make even the coldest winter nights seem warmer. We all need companionship and to have a personal relationship, but first and foremost with the Living God (Matt 6:33).
Tell them the Truth
Let’s imagine your friend was going on a trip, but the road they needed to take had a bridge out and it was around a blind corner that they couldn’t see until it was too late. Wouldn’t you do anything you could to warn them? Of course you would. That’s what friends do, so when you see your friend headed for trouble, please be courageous enough to warn them of the possible consequences of their actions. Tell them you don’t want to see them hurt. Your real friends will tell you the truth, even if it makes them mad, and that’s what you might have to do.
What other ways can you suggest that I missed on how you can help your friend? I know it can help them if we rejoice with them when they rejoice, when we weep with them when they weep, when we’re with them when the weep or rejoice, and when your friend is turning away from God, go to them, and “If he listens to you, you have gained your brother” (Matt 18:15). This is what friends are for.
May God richly bless you,
Pastor Jack Wellman
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