Having good friendships makes life happier! We can't always expect others to be good friends, but we must make sure we ourselves are trustworthy. Below are listed a few qualities which can be found in the greatest friendships of the Bible.
|Two of my forever best friends and I under the St. John's Bridge|
1. Fellowship and Encouragement: "The Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh to his friend."--Exodus 33:11 "Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend." --Proverbs 27:17 "Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man's friend by hearty counsel." --Proverbs 27:9
God created man to have fellowship with Him. Abraham was called the friend of God. The Lord wants to talk with us and wants us to talk with him; He wants to be our Friend. Our friendships with other people should glorify the Lord. We need to "encourage one another and build each other up" in the Lord. Our conversations should help each other progress on life's way.
Biblical examples: Jesus is the premier example; he loved his disciples and spend his time talking with them and telling them about the Kingdom of God.
2. Faithfulness and Trustworthiness: "Thine own friend, and thy father's friend, forsake not." --Proverbs 27:10
Be a faithful friend, not a fair-weather friend. Never betray anyone. Your first allegiances should be to God and your family; you should always be trustworthy. Be someone who can be depended on. A true friend is one who is always there, even when the going is tough.
Biblical examples: Ruth's name is nearly synonymous with faithfulness. She left her homeland and all she held dear to take care of her mother-in-law Naomi; she never deserted her. God rewarded her for her faithfulness. Jonathan was faithful to God and David even when his own father was trying to kill David. David's friend Hushai helped him when he was running for his life from his son Absalom.
3. Caring: "Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful." --Proverbs 27:6.
It's important to care enough for your friends to tell them truth, even if they don't like it. There are "yes men" in the world who flatter and agree with everything, but they are not good people to be around. Don't be like them. Always speak the truth in love. Constructive criticism can help people--but be sure to keep it constructive!
Biblical examples: In Galatians 2:11 Paul tells about his disagreement with Peter because Peter stopped eating with the Gentiles when other Jews came to visit. Paul "withstood Peter to the face," because he believed what he did was not right. They both were servants of God, and it appears from other books in the Bible that they remained friends.
4. Joyfulness: "When she hath found it, she calleth her friends and neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost." --Luke 15:9
One of the best parts of friendship is happiness and rejoicing together.
Biblical examples: After God delivered the Jews from the hands of Haman, Mordecai and Esther proclaimed a day of rejoicing and giving gifts. The Bible says "Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice."
May God bless you with many happy friendships!