So many wise and pointed proverbs here, such as: “Like a bird that strays from its nest is a man who strays from his home”(27:8) & “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another” (27:17) & “As in water face reflects face, so the heart of man reflects the man” (27:19) & “Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity than a rich man who is crooked in his ways” (28:6) and . . . and . . .
One of Solomon’s proverbs really struck me, this morning, however: “Better is a neighbor who is near than a brother who is far away” (27:10). A neighbor is not family and might be only an acquaintance, not a close friend. However, the neighbor is close by, he is present. Presence is a matter of such great value. I have heard parents say, “We do not have a lot of time with our children; rather, we focus on quality time.” Hmmm . . . it strikes me that children actually need lots and lots of time, not merely occasional “quality time.” And so it is with all our relationships. Presence, nearness, time together: all are so important. Time spent with family (lots of it) really does make a difference. Time spent with our church family (lots of it) is important for our growth and encouragement in Christ. Daily and regular time with God and in his Word is absolutely essential for our joy in the Christian life.
Blessed be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love;
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like that to that above.
Before our Father’s throne
We pour our ardent prayers;
Our fears, our hopes, our aims are one
Our comforts and our cares. --John Fawcett (1945)