We’re better together. God Himself is our example of this. He has always existed in community, one God in three persons. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are always together, always united, and always mutually accountable to one another. Some of the most important decisions we’ll ever make in our lives will be who we choose to be friends with. This includes your choice for a spouse, and extends to the other people you’ll be around on a regular basis.
Good friends make us better. Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. – Proverbs 27:17 ESV
Be truthful with your friends. Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy. – Proverbs 27:5-6 ESV
Have some deep friendships. A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. – Proverbs 18:24 ESV
Find righteous friends. One who is righteous is a guide to his neighbor, but the way of the wicked leads them astray. – Proverbs 12:26 ESV
Fools make dangerous friends. Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm. – Proverbs 13:20 ESV
Angry people make dangerous friends. Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man, lest you learn his ways, and entangle yourself in a snare. – Proverbs 22:24-25 ESV
Don’t be alone. 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
It might get messy. A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. – Proverbs 17:17 ESV
In John 15:13 Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” Jesus was the ultimate friend to sinners, willing to love his friends to the extent that He died on the cross for them. In this way our own friendships have Gospel implications. Our uncommon love for one another as brothers and sisters in Christ becomes a Gospel example to others. In addition, we should aim to build friendships with people who don’t yet know Jesus in order to show God’s love to them as well.
1 Samuel chapters 18–20
John 13:1-17, 31-35
Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life, by Henry Cloud and John Townsend
The Four Loves, by C.S. Lewis
Spiritual Frienship, by Aelred of Rievaulx