What does the Bible Teach about Friendship?
At first you may think this sounds kind of odd. Why would anyone really think about making friends from a scriptural point of view? You may have many friends in your life already, but how about friends that really care about your spiritual well being? One of the best examples I can think of is a true friend who will tell you something about yourself and not hold back. Usually those talks are revealing, not in a discouraging kind of way, but in a way that you know a true friend wants you to change and to grow spiritually. So to start off this conversation, what we really are talking about here is relationships.
For women, building relationships is usually pretty easy and effortless, but for men, it is not the same. Men do not naturally bond with one another in a lifelong relationship. For men to build a deep relationship with another man in order to grow closer to God, takes some work. This can be the same for women if they have nothing in common so we will address this article for both. So lets start with one of the most important concepts.
If you do not learn how to build close relationships in the church, you are not going to learn how to get close to God
Proverbs 18:24 One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Proverbs 27:6 Wounds from a friend can be trusted
God puts people in your path because he wants you to learn something from them.
Having a great friend is a true blessing. However having a great friend that shares your conviction about God and his family is a game changer. It takes friendship to a whole different level. Why? Because you are rooted together in the same belief. Its easy to make friends with someone in the world when you find something your both interested in, its a whole other story if you have nothing in common. One of the greatest examples is the friendship that David had with Jonathan. The two were unlikely to meet and build a friendship but God showed them a unique friendship that shaped and changed them both and showed them what true devotion is. There are no lone wolf Christians, it does not work. Jesus choose twelve disciples for a reason. He knew he would have to build multiple relationships to stay close to God. He also knew that the twelve would build friendships with one another and that they would teach that to the future church members. (Acts 2)
So how do you do go out and make friends, it seems like it would be hard to do if you were trying to make it happen. Personally I know I need close friends because I just so happen to be very social and like to have fun. However, I also know that I need a close friend that I can share my sinful nature with, someone who will encourage me and not belittle me. Encouragement from a true friend makes all the difference in your spiritual walk with God, without it, it is impossible. That is why God commanded us to encourage one another daily and build each other up. He is not saying its a good idea, he is saying that we need to do it. The sad part is, very few churches put any emphasis on the importance of deep fellowship and friendship.
So let’s take it a step further, perhaps by now you have more convictions that you need to have spiritually minded friends to help you in your walk and to be there for you in the Christian journey. But what if I were to say, maybe it’s not about you?
Have you thought about the fact that maybe being friends with someone is more beneficial to the other person than it is to you?
This concept changes the whole picture. Instead think about this, maybe a new friendship is not for your benefit, perhaps its more about what the other person receives from a friendship with you. Suddenly you start to think “what can I give to this person that will help them grow or change” “what kind of encouragement can I give them that will help them in the fight with Satan” When you start thinking like this, it starts to change you. Maybe its not about you but someone else.
This in my opinion is some of the real Genius of our God. This is how he uses you, most of the time we do not even have a clue. Satan is always on the move, always on the attack. He is like a roaring lion looking to devour you any chance he gets. Imagine if you changed your mind and decided to be the one who encourages others. I had some time to sit down and think about some of my best friends in my life so far. Some of my most treasured friendships are from people who I feel like are my biggest fans. Who doesn’t love someone who thinks your great right? This is part of the reason we love to hang with them because we know they think we are awesome. God calls us to be that kind of friend, even if it is with someone who we feel we really do not have “that great” of a connection with. It’s not always about me. This is the cool part, God thinks you are the perfect friend for (fill in the blank) He thinks your character is something they need to imitate, he thinks your faith will help them get to the next level. He thinks your strengths will help their weakness perfectly. He thinks your sense of humor and your ability to serve are just what the doctor ordered. We could go on and on but the point is God is using you.
There are plenty of scriptures that can help you with this concept, dig deep, ask around and find a need that needs filling. You can make a huge impact on someones life and in turn change your own. And because God is always so good to us, I know that he will bless you with a friendship that makes you a better man or woman as well.
And just for a laugh, here is what NOT to do