The word friend means a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard. Another definition is a person who gives assistance, someone who wants things in the other person's best interest to occur.
Friendship involves listening, sharing, and showing understanding for the other's likes and dislikes. Friendship takes time, but it makes any relationship. "Therefore walk in the way of the good, and keep to the paths of the just. " Proverbs 2:20
We all desire friends. It is a basic human need to want to be with other people. Friends are a necessary part of life. In the world in which we live there are positive and negative friends we can choose from. A true friend is hard to find, but when we have one, we treasure that friend. Not everyone we come in contact with will become our friend, we all have acquaintances.
A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Proverbs 18:24 (NKJV)
He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will be destroyed.
Proverbs 13:20 (NKJV)
The lips of the wise disperse knowledge, But the heart of the fool does not do so.
Proverbs 15:7 (NKJV)
Usually once advice is needed, many people will go to their friends before anyone else. They go to their friends due to the fact that friends will usually accept and agree with them.
We need to inquire of older and wiser people to give us advice. The wise are knowledgeable on so much in life. They can warn us of trying times we will one day face.
Our dear Lord Jesus Christ had good friends. Some of His friends were Mary, Martha and their brother Lazarus.
In John 11:5 we read," Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. "
It is very easy to understand how Jesus Christ is our friend. Who can prove his friendship as Jesus proved it by laying down his life for those he calls his friends?
" Greater love has no man than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends." John 15:13
Another Biblical example is Jonathan and David. They loved each other's company and cared immensely for one another. Too many people are fair-weather friends. They are there until a personal difficulty arises. A true friend is with you in good times and hard times. This is the type of relationship that Jonathan and David enjoyed.
" And when he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul." I Samuel 18:1
" Now Jonathan caused David to vow, because he loved him; for he loved him as he loved his own soul. " I Samuel 20:17
Throughout the Bible we read names of people who had an extremely special relationship with our Lord. Two of those people were Abraham and Moses.
In James 2:23 we read," And the scripture was fulfilled which says, ' Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness,' And he was called the friend of God."
And in Exodus," So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. And he would return to the camp, but his servant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, did not depart from the tabernacle." Exodus 33:11
Our friends and associates can have a profound influence on us, often in very subtle ways. When we persist with a friendship with someone who considers unimportant what our Lord recognizes as important, it can cause us to become callous. Do your friends build up your faith, or do they tear it down? True friends should help, not hinder, your faith as you draw closer to the Lord.
" Do not be anxious of evil men, nor desire to be with them;" Proverbs 24:1
Care should be involved in choosing our friends. The friends we choose will influence us in some way. We want the influence they have on us to be positive. The most positive influence that could be made is one that will help us on our pathway to heaven. When we pick our friends, this needs to be done with much thought and care.
A friend who is acquired by performing a foolish thing is never a lasting friend. You will soon discover that this friendship is worthless.
Psalm 1:1 " Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; "
" Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled;" Hebrews 12:14-15
A purchased friend will never last long. That friendship depends on the items they receive and not the friendship derived from the individuals themselves.
How great it is to have supportive friends. When that support is snapped it leaves us with an empty feeling. The loss of that support can affect our confidence. Fidelity is an absolute necessity in a true friend.
CICERO has well said, "Friendship is the only thing in the world
concerning the usefulness of which all mankind are agreed."
And so for the most part they are. As a cookie crumbles, so could our worldly friendships. The world's friendship is ever brittle. True friendship must not be of hasty growth. We need to let friendship crawl tenderly to a height.
" Do not be deceived: Bad company ruins good morals. " I Corinthians 15:33
We need to be the kind of true friend the Bible encourages.
Discussion and study questions:
(1) Where and who are the wise, Godly people who can warn us of the dangers ahead?
(2) How can I be the kind of friend that I ought to be?
(3) Am I able to do activities with this person without sinning?
(4) Will this friend help me get to heaven?
(5) Because of their friendship, is my example strengthened?
God planned ahead for all your gloomy days. In fact, He's arranged for encouragement to be right there, waiting for you to discover it. You only need to know where to look! Words of encouragement can always be found in the Bible, but He gave each of us the ability to console and encourage, as well. God is always with us, and we're all in this thing together. So, let's encourage one another along the way! Are you ready to give and receive encouragement? In this study, we'll search the Bible fore all the ways God wants us to know He didn't leave us to face life alone. Twelve weeks of Bible study, down-to-earth illustrations, and dozens of thoughtful insights make up this study with a leader's guide included. Contents include: Forward, Intro, Theme Verse, God Encourages Me!, The Word Encourages, Encourage My Faith, Encouraging Growth, It's A Gift!, Your Experience Can Encourage Others, Love One Another, "One Another" Attitudes, "One Another" Actions, Encouraging Epistles, Just Think, Shall We Review?, Leaders Guide