Be Loyal to Your Friends
Chuck Colson, President Richard Nixon’s ‘hatchet man’, went to prison for his part in the Watergate cover-up. In his book Born Again, he tells how he was invited to speak at a university soon after his release from prison. At the time there was still much hostility towards the entire Watergate crowd, especially Richard Nixon.
Questions were coming at Colson rapid-fire, and the students were becoming increasingly hostile. One stood up and referred to a criticism Henry Kissinger had levelled at Richard Nixon. ‘Mr Colson,’ he demanded, ‘do you agree with this criticism?’ Colson said he scanned the room and could tell every ear was listening to hear what he would say.
Here’s how he replied: ‘We all know Mr Nixon’s negative qualities. He has been dissected in the press like no one in history. I could tell you his good points, but I don’t believe I could persuade you to accept them. But when it comes down to it, no, I don’t go along with Henry Kissinger’s comments. Mr Nixon is my friend, and I don’t turn my back on my friends.’
Colson said for a moment he thought the roof would fall in – and in a way, it did; but not as he expected. There was a moment of silence, followed by a thunderous standing ovation.
Even hostile students could appreciate loyalty to a friend. If you want to find out who your true friends are, just make a mistake! Many of those you thought were your friends will desert you like rats from a sinking ship. That’s why the Bible says, ‘Do not forsake your own friend.’
‘Do not forsake your own friend.’ Proverbs 27:10 NKJV