Definition: The attachment of one person to another marked by mutual affection and trust; intimacy.
1. Seeking the right kind of friendship is encouraging, strengthening and bears good fruit.
* Psalm 119:63 I am a companion of all them that fear Thee, and of them that keep Thy precepts.
* Proverbs 2:20b Walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous.
* Proverbs 13:20 He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.
* Proverbs 27:9 Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel.
2. Jesus is the best foundation upon which true friendships can be built.
* Ephesians 2:19-22 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the Chief Corner Stone; 21 In Whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In Whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
* Colossians 1:17 [If Jesus is the glue, your friendship will hold through anything.] And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist [are held together].
* 1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.
3. Some of the qualities of true and lasting friendships are:
* Job 6:14a [Compassion — showing understanding and pity in especially trying times:] To him that is afflicted pity should be shewed from his friend.
* Proverbs 17:9 [Forgiveness — letting it pass when wronged and not drawing undue attention to others’ mistakes:] He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends. [See also 1 Peter 4:8.]
* Proverbs 17:17 [Supportiveness — being a strength in difficult times:] A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
* Proverbs 18:24a [Initiative — making the first move to be outgoing and friendly:] A man that hath [wants to have] friends must shew himself friendly.
* Proverbs 25:17 [Discretion — knowing when to part company, lest we “wear out our welcome”:] Withdraw thy foot from thy neighbour’s house; lest he be weary of thee, and so hate thee.
* Proverbs 27:6a [Loving counsel and correction:] Faithful are the wounds of a friend.
* Proverbs 27:10a [Loyalty:] Thine own friend, and thy father’s friend, forsake not.
* Proverbs 27:14 [Consideration:] He that blesseth his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, it shall be counted a curse to him.
* Proverbs 27:17 [Encouragement:] Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.
* Ecclesiastes 4:9,10 [Teamwork:] Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. 10 For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.
* Amos 3:3 [Unity — discovering and dwelling on points in common:] Can two walk together, except they be agreed?
* John 3:29 [True understanding — appreciating one another’s victories:] He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.
* John 15:13 [Self-sacrifice:] Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
* John 15:15 [Communication — being open and honest:] Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of My Father I have made known unto you.
* Romans 15:1,2 [Unselfishness — putting the needs of others before our own:] We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. 2 Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.
* Philippians 2:4 [Mutual concern:] Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
* Colossians 3:16 [Mutual edification and inspiration:] Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
* Hebrews 10:24 [Positive peer pressure — being a good influence on one another:] And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works.
* 1 Peter 4:8 [Love — the mortar that holds the building blocks in place:] And above all things have fervent charity [love] among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
4. Choose your friendships wisely!
* Proverbs 22:24,25 Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go: 25 Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul.
* James 4:4 [True friendship does not mean fraternizing with the world.] Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
5. Being faithful to lift up Jesus will help attract the right kind of friends.
* John 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me.
* Psalm 119:74 They that fear Thee will be glad when they see me; because I have hoped in Thy Word.
* Psalm 34:2,3 My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. 3 O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His Name together.
* Proverbs 22:11 He that loveth pureness of heart, for the grace of his lips the king shall be his friend. [See 16:7.]
6. The Bible testifies of these special friendships which glorified the Lord and helped to further His Kingdom.
* Ruth 1:16,17 [Ruth’s undying loyalty to Naomi, her mother-in-law:] And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: 17 Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.
* 1 Samuel 18:1 [David and Jonathan discovered a loving friendship which was built upon deep and lasting love:] And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. [See also 2 Samuel 1:26.]
* 2 Kings 2:2 [Elisha and Elijah stuck together:] And Elijah said unto Elisha, Tarry here, I pray thee; for the Lord hath sent me to Bethel. And Elisha said unto him, As the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So they went down to Bethel.
7. There are times when some friendships fall short — but Jesus’ friendship never fails.
* Job 16:20 [Sometimes friendship falls short, but Jesus never fails.] My friends scorn me: but mine eye poureth out tears unto God.
* Job 19:14,19 My kinsfolk have failed, and my familiar friends have forgotten me. … 19 All my inward friends abhorred me: and they whom I loved are turned against me.
* Psalm 38:11 My lovers and my friends stand aloof from my sore; and my kinsmen stand afar off.
* Psalm 41:9 Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.
* Psalm 55:12-14 [Sometimes friendship turns sour, especially when our friend’s loyalty to the Lord has grown weak.] For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it: neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him: 13 But it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance. 14 We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company. [See also 88:18.]
* Psalm 27:10 When my father and my mother [or friends] forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.
* James 2:23 Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
* John 15:14,15b,16a Ye are My friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. 15b … I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of My Father I have made known unto you. 16a Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you.