“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity,” Proverbs 17:17. Is it possible to reconcile the two? Can one be a brother and also a friend? The scripture informs us that our brothers and sisters, our own flesh and blood, were born to produce difficulty round about our lives. Their presence brings us resistance. And we naturally assume that this resistance is something that we ought to strive against.
Proverbs 17:17 also tells us of a friend. This friend is a comrade and companion in and through every circumstance in life. They are always for our highest good and never against us. So, again, could this friend and brother be one and the same? Could the brother that brings us adversity also be the friend that loves us unconditionally in every situation? I believe that they can be. For, although a friend may love us wholly, they could also be the oppositional force that forms us. The persons that are closest to us provide an excellent source of shaping. And we would be wrong to naturally assume that this force, this opposition, this resistance is something that we ought to strive against. No, the opposition of a friend is our most reliable resource in this world….
“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another,” Proverbs 27:17. Opposition is good for us. And it is pertinent that we experience opposition from the ones who love us most. They may oppose us, but they will not leave us. They may resist us, but they will continue to love. How much better to be formed by the opposition of those who love us than the opposition of enemies! It is good for my brother to oppose me for as long as he or she will be my friend. I need his or her iron to sharpen mine. My perspectives must be challenged and opposed.
Have you been opposed today? Have your thoughts, actions or words been challenged by the perspective of another? Do not assume the opposition is destructive. Consider the source. Is God challenging you today. He is a Friend that will often oppose you… .for your good. Adversity and opposition may be round about you, but listen close, refuse interaction with the Accuser…. .no, listen closer.. .you have a Friend who is sharpening you in the midst of it. Interact with your Friend who has become also your Brother…
Shimei was not David’s friend. But God was. And He was sharpening David in the midst of the adversity.