S171P3 – The proverbial good friend: flies love honey

Pro. 22:11

He who loves purity of heart, and whose speech is gracious, will have the king as his friend.

I recently had a conversation with someone who said that he has only one good friend. The reason this conversation began is that he wanted to know why this is the case. While it is true that there are some people who just click and others who do not, friendship comes down to more than these chance encounters. For those who have difficulty making and keeping lasting friendships, we cannot say that they simply have not found the people with whom they will click. In fact, I would argue that many of these friendships which seem to have happened very easily are the result of how the individuals treated one another from the start. Gentleness and kind words will draw even those in lofty places.

Most of us do not live in countries with active royalty, but this passage still applies. It tells us that we can become friends even with those who are extremely difficult to reach, who are beyond our stations in life, who are incredibly important and influential in the world, simply by our behavior. This is not about manipulating others with our words and actions. This is not about wearing a false mask of lovingkindness. This is about the one who desires to have a pure heart and the words which naturally poor forth from that heart. Great friends can be made and kept if we treat them well. If we treat others with care, compassion and consideration, we will not be short of friends.

There is nothing new under the sun. The one who tells you that you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar echoes the lesson of this verse. If we are kind and gentle, it is because we are walking in the character of the Lord as we are conformed to it, but there also is a reward in this. It brings us favor even with those from whom we should not expect favor. If we carry ourselves this way, we might not even need to try to make friends. We just might find ourselves surrounded by others who are drawn to that sweet spirit. Father, give us pure hearts and kind words, that we would have the favor to make godly friends even with the most unexpected of people.