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True Biblical Friendship

Joke: If anyone needs an ark, I happen to Noah guy.

Proverbs 18:24 says, “A man that has friends must show himself friendly, and there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.” There is a key to having loyal friends or making friends in the first place. You have to show yourself friendly.

Discussion

Is the narrative about male and female friendships true? Men make friends easily but it’s shallow? Women struggle to make friends but when they do its deeper?

With social media, friends are more common but more shallow?

The First Problem in the World Was Not Sin but Solitude

At each step of the way when God created the world, he pronounced that everything was “good.” But then once he created Adam, a statement startles us: something is not good. “It is not good that the man should be alone” (Gen. 2:18). This was before the fall — before sin had entered the world. Adam was not yet complete; he needed community. 

What does this show us? Although our deepest problems are sin and idolatry, our first problem was social isolation. Therefore, even today, in a world filled with society, Proverbs warns that the one who “isolates himself. . . breaks out against all sound judgment” (Prov. 18:1).

Friendship Is a Whole-Bible Theme

The Bible tells the story of the creation, fracturing, and ultimate restoration of true friendship—friendship with God and also with each other. In the beginning, Adam and Eve enjoyed the fullness of friendship. But their sin led them into hiding (Gen. 3:8), and we’ve been hiding behind our own fig-leaf masks ever since.

Yet God is restoring true friendship. He restores friendship with himself, as he did with Enoch and Noah, who “walked with God”—a Hebrew expression of friendship (Gen. 5:24Gen. 6:9). Abraham was called “a friend of God” (Isaiah 41:8). Moses spoke with God “face to face, as a man speaks with his friend” (Ex. 33:11). He drew near to all who called upon him with true faith.

Picking your Friends

First Corinthians 15:33 “Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”

We must choose carefully who are friends since “bad company ruins good morals” (1st Cor 15:33) and “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm” (Prov 13:20). That’s because we tend to become like whoever we are around. 

If those are people who live in sin, then that’s what we’ll tend to do. It’s not guilt by association but sin by participation because James warned us that “that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” (James 4:4). 

Solomon wrote about many friends verses a best friend in Proverbs 18:24 by writing, “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”  

That one is worth more than many for that brother or sister in Christ knows not “to slander one another” or gossip (James 4:11) but rather, build up one another. There is no room for talking about your friends sins since “Whoever covers an offense seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates close friends” (Prov 17:9).

How does “bad company” ruin the morals of others?

A Godly Friendship

There is nothing better than having a best friend, next to having a saving relationship with Christ of course, but we need friends and they need us. We’re made for relationship and when your best friend is a Christian, it can hardly get much better. Your friends will go out of their way for you (1st Sam 18:1-5). A friend loves you regardless (Prov 17:17) and loves you enough to tell you the truth, even if it hurts (Prov 27:6) and try to give you good advice because they’ll be honest with you (Prov 27:9). That’s why we must see the value in our godly friends and why, no matter what, we must never forsake them (Prov 27:10).

Refection

  • Why do we need friends?
  • What about having friends who are not Christian (2nd Cor 6:14-18; James 4:4)?
  • What’s the hardest thing you ever had say to a friend?
  • What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to hear from a friend?

Here are 4 characteristics of true friendship:

Unconditional love – A true friend loves at all times. Regardless of what you do, what happens, or where life takes you, a true friend loves at all times. On your worst day—when you aren’t even fun to be around—a true friend still takes you to lunch. (And likely pays.)

Unwavering support – True friends are in it for the long haul. Even when you’ve fallen—or agree with you completely—a true friend is in your corner. When you call—even when you’re in trouble—they come. True friendships may only be for a season. I have many of those. But if we run into each other again we pick up where we left off. Trust is already established. The relationship is just as strong. True friendships are consistent.

Willingness to challenge – Love and support is not ignoring the words you need to here. A true friendship makes you better. The Bible says “iron sharpens iron.” True friends will correct you if needed. Proverbs 27:5 says, “Better an open rebuke than hidden love.” Friends won’t let you injure yourself or others if they can intervene. They won’t remain silent with what you need to hear—and it will be shared in the deepest of love.

Full of grace – True friendship weather the sometime difficulties of relationships, forgiving when needed, and loving each other even when it hurts. A true friendship isn’t one-sided. Both friends are willing to lay down their life for the other. Grace is freely and generously given.

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