My college roommate, Mike, was about to shave his eyebrows off completely. You would have to have known him in those days. He would only take dares that he thought no one else on campus would do. He had shaved his head, but so had the whole basketball team… and he wasn’t on the team. So, Mike was ready to take it to the next level. He thought that shaving his eyebrows off completely would garner him some extra attention and be a lot of fun.
Maybe Not The Best Friend
Mike and I were close friends. I believed in Mike’s theory. Not enough to practice it myself… that would be ridiculous. But enough to cheer Mike on in his craziness. So, as Mike stood in front of the full mirror attached to the built-in closet in our 14-foot by 14-foot cinderblock dorm room, I egged him on… “Do it, dude! Do it! No one else on campus would do this. This is your kind of dare. Go for it, man! You will be the talk of the entire university.”
I failed to mention that while every girl on campus would indeed know his name, they might hesitate to go out with the guy with no eyebrows. I also failed to mention that the school may not approve because he could become a distraction in class… and chapel… and pretty much anywhere he went until his eyebrows grew back out. I failed to mention several key influencers as to why this wouldn’t be the best idea in the world. And that is because I REALLY wanted to see Mike shave his eyebrows. It would have been the funniest thing I thought I’d ever seen.
Mike was hesitant, but started with the clippers on the longest setting. Bzzzzzzzzz… one eyebrow shorter. Bzzzzzzz… the other eyebrow shorter.
Lee To The Rescue
About the time Mike had used the clippers at a longer level and was about to move down to no guard at all, another friend of ours walked in the room and asked what we were up to. Lee lived down the hall from us and was a good friend to both of us. On that night, he was a better friend to Mike. In fact, he was a real friend to Mike… unlike me.
I said, “Dude, Mike’s gonna shave off his eyebrows completely! Isn’t that awesome?”
Lee was like, “What?! Bro, don’t do it. That’s a bad idea.” He began to spell out why that wasn’t the brightest idea and how it could impact Mike. I told Lee to be quiet and let Mike do what he wanted to do. But Mike realized that Lee was right, and I lost out.
Proverbs 17:17 tells us, “A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.” I wasn’t that kind of friend to Mike that night. I claimed that I loved him like a brother. I claimed that he was one of my best friends. But that night I didn’t prove it. I didn’t look out for his best interests. I didn’t try to protect him from making a ridiculous mistake.
But Lee did. Lee was the kind of friend we should all be. He was the kind of friend who stepped in and spoke up on behalf of his friend. He was the kind of friend we should aspire to be.
Proverbs 18:24 also tells us, “…a real friend sticks closer than a brother.” That’s the heart of God. And that’s the kind of friends we should be to those around us.
Not Proud, But Better
I’m not proud of the way I treated Mike that night. In fact, I later had to apologize to him for not being a great friend when I should have been. But as I check my friendship meter, I find I’m growing and getting better at it.
How about you? Have you checked your friendship meter lately? Are you full of love for and loyalty to those around you? Or do you have some friends with “shaved eyebrows?” It’s never too late to begin being a terrific friend, you know. Just walk down the hall of your life, find someone you care about, step in and speak up. They’ll be glad you did, and you’ll find you have a real friend.