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TableTalk: Friends and Friendships.



What does the Bible say about FRIENDS AND FRIENDSHIPS

Let’s talk about Friendship…

Proverbs 17:17, A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.  A good friend is worth keeping.  Proverbs 27:9-10, 9 Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel. 10 Thine own friend, and thy father’s friend, forsake not; neither go into thy brother’s house in the day of thy calamity: for better is a neighbour that is near than a brother far off.  The book of Proverbs helps us with these little life lessons, it tells us that when we have a good friend we should stand by them, and not desert them, and the same thing goes for family friends as well.  Sometimes our neighbours are good friends, – a friend living next door is often far more help than a close relative who lives miles away!   Thank of times when you have needed the help of a friend, when family were afar off and unable to help, and make a note below, then remember to thank God for good neighbours – they are often a gift from God.

Why do Friendships Fail?  The most obvious answer is GOSSIP.  Gossip can destroy friendships.  Proverbs 16:28. A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends. Think of ways in which YOU might demonstrate your friendship in a sincere and simple way.

Good friends are always HONEST with each other.  What if a friend saw you were engaged in some form of harmful behaviour?  Something perhaps that you, yourself didn’t even recognise as being harmful?  What if that friend was to come to you, and try to warn you about the danger you may be in. How would YOU feel?

  • RESENTFUL? Would you resent your friend’s approach?  Would you tell them to mind their own business, and stay out of yours?
  • THANKFUL? Would you be glad that your friend cared about you enough to come and warn you?
  • ANNOYED? Isn’t this perhaps the most common attitude?  “How dare he/she speak to me like that?  Who does he think he is?
  • IN DENIAL?  Would you lie and deny that you were doing what they suggest?

What if the friend who spoke to you and warned you was your doctor, your minister, etc…. Would that make ANY difference at all?  And remember the second part of that passage from Proverbs.  The kisses of an enemy are deceitful.  Beware of someone flattering you, by pretending there is nothing wrong, when there is.  Those deceitful kisses could lead you right into the devil’s grip, and right into a lost eternity.  

What if YOU say a friend going astray, putting him/herself in danger, or sinning?  Would you tell them?  Or would you just ignore what’s going on?  If you would seek with them, how would you do that?  Write some adjectives to describe the conversation you might have.

How would YOU choose your friends? Sometimes we make friends with people, just by chance, – a chance encounter.  But the Bible warns us about how we should choose our friends, for there is danger in bad company.  

  • We are not to keep company with sexually immoral people.  1 Corinthians 5:9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:  The word ‘fornicators’ there is very broad, – it’s derived from the Greek πόρνος (pornos) – the same word that gives us ur word ‘pornography.’
  • This is even the case with other Christians! 1 Corinthians 5:11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolator, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. Sometimes, Christian’s don’t have a good testimony.  Look at the list of character faults that Paul found in other professing Christians.  Do you know anyone like that?  We should not make these people our friends.
  • We are to seriously avoid those who believe and preach false doctrines and beliefs.  Romans 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.  Can a Christian be a good friend with a Moslem, a Mormon, a Pagan?  WHAT DO YOU THINK?  I think Paul is not talking about unbelievers ere, but Christians who believe strange and aberrant doctrines.  
  • Other people JUDGE us by our friendships!  What is meant by this verse: James 4:4 …know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

So be careful!  Choose friends who love the Lord and have pure hearts. 2 Timothy 2:22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.  In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus warned his disciples, that it something causes us to sin, we are to so arrange our ways, that we stay well away from that thing, or that person.  Just say goodbye to any friendships that lead us into sin or disobedience. 

The best friend to have is Jesus. John 15:15, Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.  Why is Jesus the best friend of all? John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.  

Think about how and where you meet and make friends, about how you cultivate and maintain those friendships and how to be a really good friend, a ‘friend, which sticketh closer than a brother.’

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