Without doubt, I can say God has used others to impact my spiritual life in positive ways. The friends God has given me over the years have shaped and sharpened me in ways that casual acquaintances never could. A true friend is a gift from God.
What follows is a brief survey from Scripture on friendship. The passages are by no means exhaustive of all that God has said about the topic. Instead, this sampling is intended to promote reflection on your friendships and, hopefully, allow you to appreciate more the gift of friends God has given you. Please meditate on the following biblical texts (in no particular order).
A friend …
- Provides more than fleeting companionship; true friends are bound together (Proverbs 18:24)
- Prays for you, even when you’ve offered bad counsel (Job 42:8-9)
- Preserves confidentiality and builds trust in the relationship (Proverbs 16:28)
- Sacrifices as much as it takes for the sake of the friendship (John 15:13)
- Endures over time, especially when it’s hard to do so (Proverbs 17:17)
- Values the friendship in tangible ways (James 2:23)
- Hurts only when healing is necessary (Proverbs 27:6)
- Does not have divided loyalties (James 4:4)
- Weeps over loss (John 11:33-36)
- Speaks directly and openly (Ex 33:11)
- Is intentional about the friendship (1 Sam 20:42)
- Helps pick you up when you fall (Ecclesiastes 4:10)