Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now


Friendship and faithfulness.

Friendship and faithfulness.

FEBRUARY 15, 2024

/ Programs / Key Life / Friendship and faithfulness.

Steve Brown:
Friendship and faithfulness. Let’s talk about it on this edition of Key Life.

Matthew Porter:
That was Steve Brown and this is Key Life. We’re dedicated to the teaching that the only people who get any better are those who know that if they don’t get any better, God will still love them anyway. Steve is an author, seminary professor, and our teacher on Key Life.

Steve Brown:
Thank you Matthew. We’re studying Proverbs subject, after subject, after subject. And the subject for this program is friendship and faithfulness. Let me give you some verses. Proverbs 14:20

The poor man is hated even by his own neighbor, but the rich man has many friends.

Proverbs 17:17

A friend loves at all times. A brother is born for adversity.

Proverbs 18:24

A man who has friends must himself be friendly. But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Proverbs 27:6

Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.

Proverbs 27:17

As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.

I could go on and on because it’s one of the central themes of the Book of Proverbs. And it’s the theme of the importance of friendship. That’s what John said in his letter. He called them his friends. And the friends here send their greetings. I like that. He could have said the brothers or sisters or the saints or the good people of the church. But he didn’t say. The friends, the friends. My late mentor, Fred Smith, said that one of the most important things in his life were his friends. And when I went to Texas to take part in his funeral, he recorded a video a week before he died, and he spoke to his friends. He said, I didn’t know there were going to be so many people here, and with this many people, it would be a shame for me not to say something. And there were seven or eight screens all around this big auditorium that was packed with people. And then Fred said, one of the great gifts you have given me is your friendship, and I wanted to say thank you. And then Fred not only did that, he introduced his friends to other friends so that the circle of friendship grew greater and greater. I was a part of the 25. Kind of an arrogant way to describe a group of people, the 25. But it happened because Fred knew every one of those 25 men. And we didn’t know a single one of those 25 men. And so, Fred invited us to a retreat center in Texas where we met together over a long week-end and we learned to trust each other and become friends. And those friends are still my friends and they’re still important. But please note what the Book of Proverbs says. He says.

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. Faithful are the wounds of a friend. A man who has friends must himself be friendly.

C.S. Lewis had a wonderful piece. He said.

If you don’t ever want to be hurt, don’t give your heart to anybody, not even to a pet. Wrap it on your own selfish hobbies and all you do. And you’ll be like the concrete of the casket in which you have placed yourself.

Listen, I’m a loner. I really am. I’d be happy with a book, in a monastery if they’d let me bring my wife, but they won’t. But I’ve learned that the most important thing to me, and I have to work at it sometimes, is to reach out to other people. And to create friendships that last forever. Friendship, and I know the brother and sister and family stuff is all important. Brothers in Christ and sisters in Christ are wonderful, and I’m glad that I’m a part of the church of brothers and sisters in Christ. But if they never become my friends, if we never exchange loyalty, if we never go the second mile, then the relationship is not worth very much. I have a friend who’s my age and he said, you know what I’ve decided to do, Steve? And I said, no. He said, I’m going to save time by spending time only with people who will cry at my funeral. Well, okay. The importance of friendship. Now, let’s talk about jealousy and its danger. Proverbs 14:30

A sound heart is life to the body, but envy is rottenness to the bones.

Oh, that’s true. Proverbs 27:4

Wrath is cruel and anger is a torrent, but who was able to stand before jealousy?

Proverbs 23:1 through 3

When you sit down to eat with a ruler, consider carefully what is before you, and put a knife to your throat if you are a man given to appetite. Do not desire his delicacies, for they are deceptive food.

Confession time. One of the most miserable experiences of my life, was having to go to a Baptist friend, his name was Dan Yary, and I loved him a lot, because I very gradually became jealous of his ministry. It was awful. I had a friend who I was accountable to and I thought if I confessed it to my friend that would take care of it. It didn’t and my friend said you got to go tell Dan. And I said Mm mmm. I’m not doing that. And my friend said I’m going to hold you accountable til you do. So, I can’t believe I’m telling you this. So, I called up Dan and I said, can we have lunch? He said, great. Let’s do. And we set a place and a time and we met together for lunch. And the waitress came over to the table and I said to the waitress. Leave us alone, young lady, cause I’ve got something important to say and I’ll let you know when we’re ready to eat. And Dan Yary looked at me like I’d lost my mind. And I said, Dan, there’s something I’ve got to tell you, and it requires no response whatsoever from you. But do you know what I’m dealing with? I’m so jealous of you, I can hardly stand it. When you’re successful, I’m miserable. When you’re not, I rejoice, and it didn’t happen overnight, it’s increased, and it’s gotten awful, and it’s not going to get better until I tell you about it, so I’ve told you, and I don’t want to talk about it anymore. He looked at me with a puzzled expression. And I motioned to the waitress to come over, and she came over, and we had a nice lunch. But I remember leaving that restaurant and thinking to myself, I’m never going to do that again. And I said to the Lord Jesus, don’t let me go there anymore. Make me the kind of pastor who looks down the street and if that church is growing faster than my church, I can dance and sing and rejoice in the success of that church. And believe it or not, that prayer has been answered. And I don’t think of a time after that time when I looked at another ministry or another pastor and was jealous about it. If I had read the Book of Proverbs more carefully before that incident happened, I wouldn’t have had to go through it. Jealousy will eat you alive, and we live in a political atmosphere where people, in order to achieve power, are creating envy and jealousy and covetousness of others. And that divides, and that, as the Book of Proverbs says, is rottenness to the bones. So, when you look down the street and your neighbor has more than you do, when your friends are successful and you’re not, when others seem to have smooth sailing in everything that they do, and yours is a storm almost all the time, be very, very careful. Ask Jesus to make sure that you don’t envy what they have, nor are jealous over it, and you’ll be glad I told you to do that. I just told you that I couldn’t think of a single time when I had done that, after that one incident when I had to confess to my pastor friend. I just want you to know that while I was teaching you, I thought of two more, and as soon as I close out this broadcast, I am going to repent. And then I’ll be perfect. Hey, you think about that. Amen.

Matthew Porter:
And thus ends another week of teaching from the Book of Proverbs. Thank you Steve. Hey, very special week of Key Life coming up next week, by the way. Matt Heard is going to join us again. Don’t miss that. And of course, tomorrow we’ll have Friday Q&A with Steve and Pete. That’s when they’ll tackle this question, is having a flag at church a form of idolatry? That’s an intriguing question. Tune in to hear their answer on that one. Well, you know Steve, and you know Pete Alwinson, and Matt Heard, but do you know Voddie, as in Voddie Baucham? He’s an author and a charismatic and outspoken voice for God’s truth, and we spoke with Voddie on Steve Brown Etc recently. We touched on culture, politics, and the gospel in a post Christian world, and it was amazing. Get that entire conversation on CD for free, by calling us right now at 1-800-KEY-LIFE that’s 1-800-539-5433. You can e-mail [email protected] to ask for that CD. Or to mail your request, go to for our mailing addresses. Again, just ask for the CD featuring Voddie Baucham. Finally, if you value the work of Key Life, would you join us in that work through your financial support? You can charge a gift on your credit card, or include a gift in your envelope. Or simply pick up your phone and text Key Life to 28950 then follow the instructions. Key Life is a member of ECFA in the States and CCCC in Canada. And we are a listener supported production of Key Life Network.

Back to Top