“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work:
If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to
help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one
keep warm alone? Though one be overpowered, two can defend
themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
It is important to God that we, as believers, have good companions and friends here on earth. The Bible talks a lot about good friendships. Ecclesiastes teaches us that when someone has a companion, they can help bring each other up when one stumbles. They are there to help defend us and protect us. When you have more strings attached together, they will support a heavier weight. In the same way, people’s relationships with other people help make them stronger. But of course, a string can break no matter how strong it seems. When the strain becomes too much, someone can disappoint us. Only God will never disappoint us.
There may be times where a friend might criticize something about you or something that you do. Don’t let this get between your friendships. They aren’t doing anything out of hate or harm. However, an enemy will never criticize you to your face. They deceive you and do nothing but flatter you. That is of no help to you. Flattery is nice but words of advice and guidance are nicer. A true friend of yours will tell you what you need to hear, even if it hurts, instead of flattering you all of the time. These “wounds” from a friend can also mean for them to rebuke or correct you when you have done something wrong. No one is perfect, but we usually want to make the best decisions for ourselves and those close to us. So sometimes it takes a true friend to tell us that we might be making the wrong decision and heading down the wrong path.
“Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.”
“Let a righteous man strike me-it is a kindness; let him rebuke me-it is
oil on my head. My head will not refuse it. Yet my
prayer is ever against the deeds of evildoers.”
“A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent
man overlooks an insult.”
Friends are supposed to look out for each other according to the Bible. God tells us numerous times that we are to help guide each other and lift each other up. We are to keep each other on the path of righteousness, even if painful words are to be said or heard. As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another (Proverbs 27:17).
“Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual
should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.”
“The godly give good advice to their friends; the wicked lead them astray.”
Friends also can help cheer us up when we’re feeling depressed or frustrated. They are there for us when no one else is and help fill us with joy. The book of Proverbs is full of helpful advice when it comes to friendships and helps direct all of our relationships, whether it be a spouse or a friend or a parent.
“An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.”
“Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart and the pleasantness of
one’s friend springs from his earnest counsel.”
“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”
There are also types of people that we need to look out for that God warns us not to have friendships with. He warns us in Proverbs 22:24 not to make friendships with angry people. You could become angry as well and they could end up saying harsh words to you if you accidentally anger them. You never know how they will react to things you say or do. Also, others might begin to think that you are angry with them. The Bible warns us not to make the mistake of associating with the wrong crowd.
“Bad company corrupts good character.”
-1 Corinthians 15:33
Proverbs all tells us that we should not be friends with someone who likes to gossip. Someone who likes to gossip tells everyone your business and reveal s things that you don’t want others to know. You need to be cautious around them all of the time to make sure you don’t say something that could ruin you.
“A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret.”
“A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends.”
“He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion
of fools suffers harm.”
We should not let wealth or material items determine who we are friends with. Proverbs 14:20 and 19:4 informs us that wealthy people always have the most friends. If you have common sense then you will know that this is only because they have bought their friends. People try to get close to their wallets so that they will be showered with gifts. They think that a poor person is of lesser value and has nothing to offer. But they could have something greater to offer than money and gifts.
“…although saddened, we are always glad; we seem
poor, but we make many people rich; we seem to have nothing, yet
we really possess everything.”
-2 Corinthians 6:10
Jesus Christ demonstrates the ultimate friendship. John 15:12-14 says, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.” As you can see from this verse, Jesus Christ is the perfect example of a true friend because He sacrificed Himself for us.
"Do not forsake your friend and the father of your friend..."