The Power of Friendship

Discover what the Bible says about the blessed relationships in your life.

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Posted in , Jul 19, 2013

Mary Lou Carney

Remember when you were a child and could easily identify your best friend—or perhaps even your “bestest best friend” or “second best friend.” As we age and mature, we learn to accept and interact with a wide range of people. We have in-laws and colleagues and neighbors and acquaintances. But we still need friends. Proverbs 27:9 speaks of the “pleasantness of a friend.” In fact, I often think the older we get, the more important friends become to us. It takes a long time to make an old friend. And while you can’t usually pick your coworkers or fellow parishioners, you CAN pick your friends.

It is no small thing to call someone your friend. Jesus, speaking to his disciples, said “I have called you friends” (John 15:15). He knew it was the ultimate compliment. Exodus 33:11 tells us that, “The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend.” Friendship is a big deal.

One of the most famous friendships in the Bible is that between Jonathan and David. Even though Jonathan’s father, King Saul, sought to kill David, Jonathan maintained his close friendship with David. 1 Samuel, chapter 20 tells the story of how Jonathan came to warn David that he must flee for his life—a fact that brought both of these strong men to tears (verse 41). Jonathan’s parting words to David were, “Go in peace, for we have sworn friendship with each other in the name of the Lord” (verse 42).

This God-based friendship would survive war and even death, with David showing kindness to Jonathan’s crippled son after his father is killed in battle. “’Don’t be afraid,’ David said to him, ‘for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table’” (2 Samuel 9:7).

Friendship is a God-ordained and blessed relationship. Proverbs 12:26 tells us that, “The righteous choose their friends carefully.” God will use these carefully-chosen friends to help you grow in your faith while at the same time providing you with opportunities to help them grow, too. You will be following the Apostle Paul’s advice to “encourage one another and build each other up” (1 Thessalonians 5:11).

In Isaiah 43:19, God says, “See, I am doing a new thing!” God wants us to be open to new experiences, in our spiritual life and in our daily life, too. Friends can help you do that. So take time to cultivate those friendships God has blessed you with. And pledge to make a few new friends! “A man who has friends must himself be friendly” (Proverbs 18:24).

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