When I think of friendship I am forced to go to the Bible and read what it has to say and not come up with my own interpretations. Doing that in the past caused me to be in a lot of unstable, and unhealthy relationships with male and females. I truly must admit I’ve cried just as hard over female friends as I have over a romantic break up. So here is what I’ve gotten today from the Bible about friendship:
Proverbs 12:26 The righteous should choose his friends carefully, For the way of the wicked leads them astray.
I think this scripture needs to be on a huge piece of wood hanging in my house for me to read often. I have to admit I have not chosen my friends carefully and have suffered for it greatly. There have been times in my life that I’ve let everyone in and wanted everyone to be a friend. In return I wound up with a broken heart of my own doing because everyone was never supposed to be a friend. But somewhere in my misguided mind I believed that to turn someone away from my friendship was mean. But the Bible considers it “careful”.
So how would one go about choosing a friend carefully; well I have a few suggestions. (Suggestions are just that, you can take or leave them, but here they are).
1) Pray about each encounter you have with people of interest and not. Some people may be called to be your friend that you would otherwise over look and vise versa.
2) Instead of having walls up, have boundaries set in the beginning and then adjust them accordingly as the friendship and trust develop.
3) Pay attention to the leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit in reference to your relationship, He will inform you if you have a friend and their purpose in your life.
Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity.
This scripture is a definition in my opinion as to what the character of a friend should be. It doesn’t mean that a friend is to love perfectly, but that they will love you at all times. And in Christ we are called brothers and sister as well as friends, so the second half of this scripture lets me know that when the going gets tough, my friendship with true friends will keep going. If you have had friends that are all for the good times but vanish in the bad, you know what that feels like and it’s easy to see who’s who when those times come. But be careful not to lump everyone in that category, as some true friends will fail you. I just believe it will look differently, like they will be sorrowful that you were hurt or that they may have disappointed you instead of taking the “Who Cares” stance.
Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.
Proverbs 27:6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
In a way, these scriptures are some what saying the same thing. Basically a friend, a true friend isn’t going to tell you what feels good just for the sake of making you smile. If they can’t be honest and truthful at all times, then you might as well just consider them your enemy that kisses you and smiles in your face with hate in their heart.
I have not said all that I’ve wanted to discuss on this topic but like my best friend said “Don’t overwhelm people with too much info at once.” So as I read and study this last scripture that’s listed below, I will pause. This one has a few different meanings in my head so I have to dig deep. The different translations can throw me off sometimes so I’ll get to the bottom of it and return later this week to close out this segment. Thank you so much for reading and may your friendships be fruitful!
Contemporary English Version (CEV)
New International Version (NIV)
24 One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
New King James Version (NKJV)
24 A man who has friends must himself be friendly,[a] But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.