Tim Keller once said that not all of us are called to be mothers, fathers, husbands, or wives, but we’re all called to be friends.
We want friends. We need friends. When friendship is lacking in our lives, our quality of life is lacking.
Our jobs are more enjoyable when we work with friends. Our classes are more bearable when we study with friends. Our weekends are more fun when we play with friends
Friendship is one of our greatest gifts from God. Here are three biblical principles on friendship we find in the Bible.
- Friendship is a blessing.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, ESV)
“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” (Proverbs 17:17, ESV)
Friends will be there for you at all times. Good times. Bad times. They will laugh with you and cry with you. Good friends will be there for you when you go through a breakup, stand next to you on your wedding day, and celebrate with you at the birth of your first child.
Life would not be nearly as enjoyable if we experienced it alone. God did not create us to be alone. He created us for community. We need others. We do not have all the gifts and talents. We need others’ help. We need others’ encouragement. We need others’ abilities. We can’t do life on our own.
We need others, but others need us. You have gifts and abilities to offer to others. In the same way we experience God’s love, God wants us to show love to others.
- Choose your friends carefully.
“ The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.” (Proverbs 12:26, NIV)
“ Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company ruins good morals.’” (1 Corinthians 15:33, ESV)
“ One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24, NIV)
A friend is one of the only truly mutually voluntary relationships you have. You can’t choose your parents or siblings. You can’t always pick your boss or coworkers. You have no control over who attends your church. You don’t get to choose what kind of kids you’ll have. But you can choose your friends.
And wise people choose their friends carefully. Pick friends that make you better. Someone once suggested that a person is the average of his or her five closest friends. Who are your closest friends?
This does not mean that you can not be friends with immoral people, or with people who believe differently than you. But make sure that your closest friends, the people who influence you the most, are people who make you better.
- The best friends help you follow Jesus better.
“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17, ESV)
Surround yourself with people who make it easier to follow Jesus. Choose friends who encourage you to grow in your faith. Be friends with people who ask about your relationship with Jesus. Be around people who truly care about you and your spiritual well being.
Don’t surround yourself with people who make it easier to sin. (This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have non-Christian friends. )
Be a friend that helps others follow Jesus better.
Sometimes being a good friend means confronting your friend. Good friends confront well. We don’t need only “yes men” in our lives. We need friends who gracefully speak truth into our lives.
Our lives are better because we have friends. I am convinced that if we carefully choose friends that help us follow Jesus better, our lives will be better. Reach out to a friend and tell them how thankful you are for them, then pray to God and sincerely thank Him for the blessing of friendship.
Ryan is the campus minister of Hilltoppers from Christ, and has been involved in HFC since 2007. Just a few miles down the road, Ryan comes to us from Smiths Grove, Kentucky. He is married to Katelyn Cole and together they have a goldendoodle named Topper!