Proverbs 20:6 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Proverbs 20:6, NIV: Many claim to have unfailing love, but a faithful person who can find?

Proverbs 20:6, ESV: Many a man proclaims his own steadfast love, but a faithful man who can find?

Proverbs 20:6, KJV: Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?

Proverbs 20:6, NASB: Many a person proclaims his own loyalty, But who can find a trustworthy person?

Proverbs 20:6, NLT: Many will say they are loyal friends, but who can find one who is truly reliable?

Proverbs 20:6, CSB: Many a person proclaims his own loyalty, but who can find a trustworthy person?

What does Proverbs 20:6 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

An earlier proverb noted that "mere talk" does not benefit anyone (Proverbs 14:23). Here, Solomon makes a similar statement. Both harmonize with the English expression "talk is cheap." Saying you will do something is easy, and many people brag about the wonderful things they will do. That includes declaring their loyalty and friendship to others. But when times become hard, and friendship requires sacrifice, many people suddenly disappear (Proverbs 17:17; 18:24). The question posed here speaks to the rarity of a person whose loyalty lives up to their "big talk."

Among Scripture's vivid examples of this difference is Peter. He bragged that he was willing to fight and die for Jesus (John 13:36–38). To his credit, he tried to fight (John 18:10) before running away (Matthew 26:56), but then lied out of fear when his loyalty was tested (Matthew 26:69–75).

Rarely does anyone find someone who fully keeps their word, showing loyalty to God and others. Fortunately, believers can depend upon Jesus to keep His word and love them unconditionally. He cannot lie (Titus 1:2), because He is the truth (John 14:6). Furthermore, He will always love us. John 13:1 tells us: "Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end." Romans 8:38–39 assures us that nothing can separate believers from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. He is our loyal friend who will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).