Proverbs 16:20 AMP He who deals wisely and heeds [God’s] word and counsel shall find good, and whoever leans on, trusts in, and is confident in the Lord–happy, blessed, and fortunate is he.
Proverbs 18:24 NKJV A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Proverbs 18:24 NIV One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Proverbs 18:24 NASB A man of too many friends comes to ruin, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
This verse is actually saying that some friends are fake and if you surround yourself with many fake friends, you cause yourself problems.
- Adversity is where you will find who your true friends are.
Luke 15:13-16 NKJV And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. (14) But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. (15) Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. (16) And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything.
The prodigal found himself in a hard time by himself. Where were all the people that had helped him live in his reckless and loose living?
- No one has a lot of friends. You may have a lot of acquaintances.
Someone who is dying never says, “I wish I had spent more time at the office.” What most people say is, “I wish I had spent more time with my friends and family.”
- If people want you to be their friend first, there is something wrong. They should offer you their friendship first.
- Your security should not come from who is your friend.
“Friend” in Hebrew:
Rea – a companion, an acquaintance, an associate; not really a close friend.
Ahab – an affectionate or true friend; one that sticks with you when the going gets tough.
Proverbs 18:24 NLT There are “friends” (Rea) who destroy each other, but a real friend (Ahab) sticks closer than a brother.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 NLT (9) Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. (10) If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. (11) Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? (12) A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.
- Friends are the people that find out you are human and stay with you anyway.
- Christians should have the best friendships; better than those that are in the world.
Acts 2:41-47 NLT Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church that day–about 3,000 in all. (42) All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer. (43) A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. (44) And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. (45) They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. (46) They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity– (47) all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.
Jesus should be our closest friend, but God’s plan is that we should have some close friends, especially through our church relationships.
- Do not put rules on your friendships.
In other words, don’t always look for friends that have your exact likes and dislikes. Learn to be diverse in your relationships.
- Truthfully, the foundation of a good marriage relationship is friendship.
Proverbs 27:6 NLT Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.
Sometimes as friends, you may wound each other, but our hearts should be to try and help one another.
- A true friend will not flatter you all the time.
Proverbs 27:9 NLT The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense.
- God will use your friends to speak to you and minister to you.
Some do not believe that the Lord can use your friends to speak to you.
2 Kings 5:1-3 NKJV Now Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Syria, was a great and honorable man in the eyes of his master, because by him the LORD had given victory to Syria. He was also a mighty man of valor, but a leper. (2) And the Syrians had gone out on raids, and had brought back captive a young girl from the land of Israel. She waited on Naaman’s wife. (3) Then she said to her mistress, “If only my master were with the prophet who is in Samaria! For he would heal him of his leprosy.”
2 Kings 5:10-14 NKJV And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored to you, and you shall be clean.” (11) But Naaman became furious, and went away and said, “Indeed, I said to myself, ‘He will surely come out to me, and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, and wave his hand over the place, and heal the leprosy.’ (12) Are not the Abanah and the Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?” So he turned and went away in a rage. (13) And his servants came near and spoke to him, and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do something great, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he says to you, ‘Wash, and be clean’?” (14) So he went down and dipped seven times in the Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.
Naaman was so full of pride that he thought that he could pre-determine how God was going to deal with him.
All of God’s dealings with Naaman came through the servants.
Proverbs 27:17 NLT As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.
- True friendship takes work and effort.
1 Samuel 18:1-4 NIV After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself. (2) From that day Saul kept David with him and did not let him return home to his family. (3) And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. (4) Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt.
- A key to developing those close friendships is to do like Jonathan and love that friend as you love yourself.
Matthew 22:37-40 NKJV Jesus said to him, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ (38) This is the first and great commandment. (39) And the second is like it: ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ (40) On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
The word neighbor can be translated friend.
You don’t start out being the best of friends; best of friends are developed over years of relationship.
- Allow your friends to be human and make mistakes.
If their weirdness is not sin, then just put up with their weirdness because you are weird too.
If you go through friends quickly, then you are looking for the perfect friend and that does not exist except in the Lord Jesus.
Proverbs 27:10 AMP Your own friend and your father’s friend, forsake them not; neither go to your brother’s house in the day of your calamity. Better is a neighbor who is near [in spirit] than a brother who is far off [in heart].
Thank God for family but are they your true friends? You may not be able to rely on your family members but you should have those close friends.
- A friend can see into your heart.
Proverbs 27:19 NLT As a face is reflected in water, so the heart reflects the real person.
Just like a camera, mirrors do not lie. We use mirrors to improve ourselves. A friend can see into your soul and help you to change and grow.
There is great power available when we have meaningful friendships. God honors that.
Matthew 18:19-20 MSG When two of you get together on anything at all on earth and make a prayer of it, my Father in heaven goes into action. (20) And when two or three of you are together because of me, you can be sure that I’ll be there.”