Award winning, Western author and novelist, Stephen Bly, writes that in the days of America’s Old West, there were two types of friends — “runners” and “standers.” At the first sign of trouble, the runners would bolt, abandoning their so-called “friends” to whatever peril they were facing. The stander would stand beside their friend no matter what the circumstances.
While awaiting death , some “friends” who had ministered with the apostle Paul , turned into runners and abandoned him to face execution alone.
In Paul ’s last letter, he lists Demas as one of those “friends” who had abandoned him for the temporary allurements of this world ( 2 Timothy 4:10 ), and then sadly states, “Only Luke is with me” ( 2 Timothy 4:11 ).
Obviously, Luke was a stander. While undoubtedly disappointed by Demas who had deserted him, Paul must have been greatly comforted, knowing he was not alone.
The Proverb writer tells us that “a friend loves at all times” ( Proverbs 17:17 ) — even in times of great adversity, i.e., the close-knit bond between Jonathan and David (cf. 1 Samuel 18-21 ).
When our friends are facing any kind of trouble, what kind of friend are we — a runner or a stander?
Let’s be a faithful “stander.”