What Does The Bible Say About Friendship?
Our friendships are valuable. Our truest friendships become the family members that we have chosen for ourselves, whom we love dearly. We often turn to our friends for joy and comfort, peace and happiness. Our friends are our confidants, the people that know us well. We also find ourselves at crossroads with friends from time to time, and feel unsure with how to move forward. We treasure these people, but what does God tell us about our friends?
There are Friends That Are Good
Proverbs 17:17 – A friend is always a friend, and relatives are born to share our troubles.
Proverbs 12:26 – The godly give good advice to their friends; the wicked lead them astray.
Proverbs 24:5 – A wise man is full of strength, and a man of knowledge enhances his might,
Proverbs 27:17 – Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.
Proverbs 18:24 – A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
John 15:13 – Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.
God tells us how valuable a friend is to us. He tells us of the great blessings we receive from a good friend, from strength to support to wisdom to a closer relationship with God. When we act in friendship to one another, we are acting in faith to God. God wants us to grow in our friendships to grow closer in our walk with him. Our friends bring us priceless blessings.
There Are Friends That Are Bad
1 Corinthians 15:33 – Don’t fool yourselves. Bad friends will destroy you.
Proverbs 20:6 – There are many who say, “You can trust me!” But can they be trusted?
Proverbs 22:24-25 – Do not make friends with a hot tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn their ways and get yourself ensnared.
Proverbs 12:26 – One who is righteous is a guide to his neighbor, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.
Proverbs 14:6-7 – A scoffer seeks wisdom in vain, but knowledge is easy for a man of understanding. Leave the presence of a food, for there you do not meet words of knowledge.
Friendships can also be toxic, and God acknowledges this in many verses. He warns us of those that are bringing us down, and to avoid these relationships. A toxic friendship does not bring you closer to God, but takes you further away. God warns us to be careful with the character of others when we are making our friends. He does not want us to consume or involve ourselves with people that will hurt our souls.
Being a Good Friend
1 Thessalonians 5:11 – Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
Job 6:14 – He who withholds kindness from a friend forsakes the fear of the Almighty.
Luke 6:31 – Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.
Romans 12:10 – Love each other as brothers and sisters and honor others more than you do yourself.
Colossians 3:13 – Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.
Romans 1:12 – That is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.
1 John 4:7 – Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.
Matthew 18:20 – For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.
God warns us heavily on what a bad friend can do to another, and He wants us to be sure we know what being a good friend means. We do not want to be the friend that leads someone else astray in their faith, so he reminds us that a good friend builds the other up. We are to love our friends and treat them with the same respect, love, kindness and understanding as we hope to receive. God tells us that loving our friends the way He commands us to is to also love Him. When we keep God in the center of our friendships, He is present, and He is glorified.
Our Greatest Friend is Jesus
Proverbs 22:11 – He who loves purity of heart, and whose speech is gracious, will have the king as his friend.
Psalm 73:25 – Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
James 4:8 – Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
God also reminds us that we have a friend in Jesus. Our greatest example of a true friend is our friendship with Jesus. There will be times in our lives that we question our friendships, or even feel as though we don’t have any friends at all. Loneliness can set in, bringing pain. God reminds us that we are never alone or friendless. He desires us, and wants us to draw near to Him. If we love the way He has asked of us, we are being a good friend to Jesus as well.
25 Quotes About Friendship From The Bible
Job 29:4 As I was in the ripeness of my days, When the friendship of God was in my tent;
Psalms 25:14 The friendship of Yahweh is with those who fear him. He will show them his covenant.
Proverbs 3:32 For the perverse is an abomination to Yahweh, But his friendship is with the upright.
Proverbs 12:26 A righteous person is cautious in friendship, But the way of the wicked leads them astray.
James 4:4 You adulterers and adulteresses, don’t you know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.