Friendship

Friendship

When you were in junior high/middle school, did you have a best friend? Is that person still your best friend? I doubt that many people would answer “yes” to that last one. Interests change, goals divide and people just go in different directions, don’t they? That is if the friendship survives that catty female thing to adulthood.

I remember two different sets of best friends that I would have thought would be friends forever in my school. Two of the girls were very best friends all the way through high school but lost touch sometime after we graduated. The other two were best friends and still keep in touch though I do not know how close they are now. Keep in mind that I graduated 34 years ago.

Ooh. That makes me feel really old!!

Today

We are going to talk about several “friendship” verses today.

Deep Friendship

Most of us have one or two close friends and it takes all we have just to keep those friendships intact. Deep friendships are a huge investment of time. You may even be one of those people who has invested in a deeper friendship only to get burned, so you have sworn off anything but casual “arm’s length” friendships. You may have been the “burner” in a friendship. We all have our history, don’t we?

Proverbs 18:24

“A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

The companion of many probably does not have many if any real friends of among his companions. But a friend who sticks closer than a brother describes a true and deep friendship. That is the kind of friendship that stands the test of time.

Christian Friendship

High-quality friendships enrich our lives so much, especially in a Christian’s life. A close friendship between dedicated Christ followers can be hugely beneficial to both people.

Proverbs 27:17

“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”

A friendship between true believers can be so beneficial because we are able to build each other up in faith. We can:

  • lovingly influence each other toward righteousness.
  • encourage each other in the Lord.
  • pray for each other.
  • be there during hard times to offer support.
  • hold each other accountable when one of us is falling into sin.
  • (I am sure you can add at least one more here.)

Proverbs 27:6

“Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.”

In Christian friendship, one friend can lovingly share with the other something that will be hard to take, but a wise person will take those loving words to heart and know the intent behind them.

Rude Awakening

When I was 24, I got a promotion at my job. I had my first supervisor position and I thought I was something! It is embarrassing now and I am ashamed of how I acted back then.

My friend/co-supervisor took me aside and said to me after maybe a couple of weeks, “Dell, you have got to back off (something like that). Everyone on the front hates you. Your personality totally changed when you got this supervisor job!” She also told me the name that described me well but I choose not to include in this article.

Rude awakening!! She won my respect and my loyal friendship that day. That was so good for me and I needed to hear it. It really takes a lot of strength of character to be honest with someone like that.

Unhealthy Friendship

Sometimes the strength of character comes with being able to walk away from a friendship that is not good for us.

Matthew 5:29-30

“If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell.”

We have all had times in our lives when we were spending time with someone who did not bring out the best in us. It is so important that we not allow ourselves to be influenced by someone who is not on the same path we are. Walking the path of a dedicated Christian is a narrow path. We cannot allow people to pull us into the ditches. Following Jesus is our priority and hopefully our obsession.

I am not saying that we should avoid people who aren’t as mature in Christ as we are or who are not yet Christians. What I am saying is that instead of being influenced, we must influence in those situations, or we must get out of those situations altogether. That can be very hard but:

Galatians 6:1 

“Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression (sin), you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness.”

It is a faithful friend who does this and we must be the influencer instead of the influenced.

I pray that we will all be faithful friends!

The Best of Friends

John 15:13

“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down His life for His friends.”

Of course, Jesus is the best of friends and we should strive to be a friend like He is. He always has our best interest in mind; His plan is for His glory and our good. We have Him as our example in every area of life even our friendships.

His ultimate act of friendship was that He lived and died to give us life. We were enemies with God until He came to earth and lived a sinless life in human flesh, walked among us and then died for us so that we could be forgiven for all our sins and set free to show others the lavish love that we have been so graciously given!

Things to Ponder:

  • Who is your best friend? Which kind of friendship is it? Do your friendships glorify God?
  • Do you have at least one “iron sharpens iron” friendship?
  • Are you intimate friends with Jesus? If not, please message me. I would love to talk with you about Him!

Go Deeper Today:

John 17:20-26

 

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