The bible says in Proverbs 17:17, “A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity.” But what does this mean? No, for real; what does this really mean? Have we ever stopped to think of what these titles, we so loosely give, mean? Because here in this scripture, it clearly defines the difference between a “friend” and a “brother” yet many times we tend to blur the lines. See, a friend has the responsibility to love me through hard times but a brother/sister is born to help me weather the storm of difficulties and misfortune. A friend is there to love me through tribulations but a brother/sister is supposed to help pull me through my difficulty. A friend, he/she is supposed to still love me if I happen to face trouble but a brother/sister is supposed to be there to help me shoulder the load. This is why you have to be careful with putting yourself into the role of somebody’s brother and sister and who puts themselves in the role for you. Please understand, I am speaking on the terms of being connected by the blood of Jesus and not DNA because DNA makes us family.
Look, I can’t call myself a sister to you if I jump ship the first time you do something wrong. The same way you can’t call yourself a brother to someone who face you’ll slam the door in, if they happen to let you down. A brother/sister is born for adversity. This means, when I’ve messed up, I don’t need a friend saying, “I’m here for you,” over the phone but I need a sister who can wrap her arms around me while saying, “let us figure this thang out.” I don’t need a friend who text me to say, “I’m praying for you,” when all my stuff has been thrown on the street but I need a brother who shows up with a truck saying, “I’m here.” I don’t need a friend who sends the heart emoji when my heart is breaking from my marriage ending but I need a sister who’ll show up with a bottle of wine and some words to talk me off the ledge. A brother or sister helps, protects, encourages, teaches, corrects, uplifts, prays AND loves like a friend. This is why, if you know you can’t handle the mandate of brother/sister, stick to being a friend because “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.”