As a child and a teen, I was very active in our church and had many friends from both church and school. Once I got married at 17, I started to lose many friends. I lost some because we could not find much that was relatable anymore. They were focusing on going to college and going to concerts and clubs and I was focusing on my husband, my daughter, and which breast pump was the most affordable. Some of my friends I lost because of my husband. I made the mistake of divulging our marital problems (his infidelity) to a few of my friends and when I went back to him, they began to distance themselves from me because of him.
Now as an adult, I have a small handful of people I can call when I need something, but do not have many people I would consider “true” friends. You know what I mean: people you can tell everything to without fear of judgment, people who invite you out, message me before I message them, call me just to chat, etc.
I have 1 such friend. Only 1. I have only known this friend for 2 years, but I cherish her so much and feel she is not a friend; she is family.
The fact that I only have one close friend got me thinking…
What does God say about friendship?
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 says “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
Proverbs 18:24 says “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is no one who sticks closer than a brother.”
Proverbs 13:20 says “Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.”
Psalm 41:9 says “Even my close friend, someone I trusted, one who shared my bread, has turned against me.”
Proverbs 27:17 (which is probably my favorite of all of the above) says “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”
So according to the Bible:
- It is important to have friends to help you up and support you when you are having a rough time.
- It is important to “be equally yoked” (if you will) with friends just like romantic interests. Because if your friends are wise, you will be wise. If your friends are fools, you will be a fool.
- Men do sin and will fall so by giving someone your heart, or putting your faith in them, there is always the possibility that they will turn against you and hurt you.
- You can have many friends and still come to ruin. The only friend you really need is Christ.
- If your friends are strong in faith, they will make you stronger in faith. Friends who challenge you intellectually, spiritually, etc. will end up strengthening you in those areas.
The Proverbs 27:17 verse is my favorite of the above mentioned verses because it reminds me of the Armor of God.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”
If friends can sharpen your iron, it makes your armor that much stronger to fight against the enemy. I love this!
So questions to ask yourself:
- How many friends do you have? How many of them are “True” friends?
- Are your friends sharpening your iron?
- Do your friends have the same belief system as you? It is okay to have differing opinions, but having friends who believe in God, the way you believe in God, is important.
- Are you embarrassed of your friends? Are they fools? Are you embarrassed to associate with them? Remember that the kind of people you hang out with are the kind of people you will become.
- What kind of friend are you to others?
I challenge you to be the best friend you can be! You will feel better about yourself and your friends may just be able to classify you as a “true” friend.