"All the brethren of the poor do hate him: how much more do his friends go far from him! he pursueth them with words, yet they are wanting to him."
Here in this verse, we read a divinely-inspired observation of truth--no one wants to be the friend of a poor man!
This oberservation is supported by a similar, yet more telling, statement in Proverbs 14:20, "The poor is hated even of his own neighbour: but the rich hath many friends." Can I say it again--no one wants to be the friend of a poor man!
Are you poor? Are you struggling to make ends meet? Do you find that your expenses border on outweighing your income? Does it seem like you're always trying save a buck here and there, just so you can get through the month?
I don't personally know a lot of rich people. I know they're out there; I just don't know many. Most of the people I know are carefully managing their budget and limiting their expenses. They can't "afford" a cavalier approach to their personal finances because things are so tight. They can't just throw money around!
So are these poor people cursed? Is it an invariable fate that poor people will suffer the plague of loneliness for as long as they live (or, at least, until they hit the jackpot)?
This may seem true, but it's not.
You see, a poor man may have friends, so long as he is a friend!
Don't let your poverty stop you from being a good friend!
"Many will intreat the favour of the prince: and every man is a friend to him that giveth gifts."
In other words, if you want to have friends...be a giver.
Furthermore, consider Proverbs 18:24, which reads, "A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly."
If you want to have friends...be friendly.
No one wants to be the friend of a poor man, especially when that poor man is:
Always looking to get...
Apparently jealous of others...
Always letting others know that he's poor!
So what's the answer for us (viz., those of us who are not rich)? How can we make ourselves more friend-worthy?
Be friendly. Make it a point to always put others first, seeking to be a blessing rather than receive one.
Be thankful. Never complain about being poor (or anything else, for that matter). People enjoy being around those who are positive.
Be a giver. You don't have to be rich in order to be a giver. Look at the Macedonians in II Cor. 8:1-2. Give the gift of a kind word...or the gift of your time...or use your creativity to give an inexpensive gift of thoughtfulness.
"SO WHAT if I have friends? I don't care...I'll just keep to myself."
Friendships are one of the means through which God allows us to minister--both to the brethren and to the lost. So we must not deceive ourselves into thinking that a self-centered, isolationist attitude is pleasing to the Lord. Let's keep in mind that God wants us to follow the pattern of His Son, who, though He was poor, yet was a "friend of sinners."