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Fair Weather Friends

imageIt’s easy to do the right thing when it is…easy, right? Let’s say you’re driving around town and you come to a stop light right next to that guy who is begging for food on the corner. It is easy to give him something to eat if you’ve just had lunch and you have a half of a box of french fries sitting right next to you, or you happen to have a pack of pop-tarts on the console because you forgot to eat them that morning. “Here, buddy, you can have this.” You hand it to him and drive off feeling pretty good about yourself.

Would it be so easy if you saw that same person asking for food, but you were also really hungry? Let’s say you hadn’t eaten in three days and you found a coupon for a free hamburger on the ground. Would you still give it to the guy, or would you keep it for yourself?

We see this type of thing today in Ruth 4:1-6. There was a guy—we don’t know his name—who was faced with a choice. The law said that he was the one who was supposed to buy Elimilech’s land. This is called redeeming it, in order to keep the land in the family. Boaz presents this option to the guy, and he’s says, “Yeah, I’m in. I wouldn’t pass up a chance to get more land.”

Then Boaz throws him a curve ball. He tells the guy that, if he is going to buy the land, he also has to marry Ruth, so that she can have a son and carry on Elimilech’s name.

“Whoa! I’m not going to marry Ruth and mess up my own family’s inheritance.”

This guy was willing to “do the right thing” if it brought him personal gain. He took a hard pass when doing the right thing made his life uncomfortable.

We call this being a fair-weather friend. We’ll do the right thing when it is easy, or nice weather, but as soon as the going gets tough, or the weather gets stormy, we’re out of there.

What would you do? Are you willing to do the right thing and help people out, even if it isn’t easy? Who could you reach out to today, even if it cost you some time, money, or reputation?

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