A few weeks ago at our church’s camp, I talked about friendships. I talked about what a true friend looks like, so I wanted to share it here with you all also.
We are all familiar with friendships and have many types of friends. Right now, you can probably think about your best friend, or perhaps, you are sad because you are thinking about a friendship you had that is no longer intact. We have Facebook friends, acquaintances as well as deep friendships.
Well, it turns out, the Bible actually has alot to say about friendships too, so let’s turn to the Bible to see what it has to say about friendships.
The first example we will look at is in 1 & 2 Samuel, the story of David and Jonathon. As we will see, David and Jonathon had a deep relationship filled with love and devotion from one another. (I would encourage you to read the story of their friendship in 1 & 2 Samuel to get the whole picture of their friendship.)
1 Samuel 18:1 “As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.”
They were of “one spirit”, so this picture shows the foundation to their relationship was firmly planted in God.
So having a Biblical relationship allows you to walk together, alongside your friend. It allows you to have someone you can go to for advice-Biblical advice. It’s someone you can have fun with, but not someone who will get you in trouble. It’s someone you can cry with because she will give you hope in God. And it is someone you will see again-in heaven, of course!
For another Biblical example of friendship, let’s look at Japhthah’s daughter and her friends.
Judges 11:37-38 “So she said to her father, “Let this thing be done for me: leave me alone two months, that I may go up and down on the mountains and weep for my virginity, I and my companions.” So he said, “Go.” Then he sent her away for two months, and she departed, she and her companions, and wept for her virgiinity on the mountains.”
Did you catch it? She wanted to go hang with her girls when life was hard. They were in the same walk of life she was in, so they talked with her because they understood what she was going through. It is not a spiritual concept to have women in the same walk of life as you, but it is always a good idea to have someone in the same stage of life as you, so you can relate to each other’s situations in order to best be able to talk to each other in the good times and the bad.
Moses, Aaron and Hur also give us a Biblical example of friendship in Exodus 17 too. (Again, read Exodus 17 to give you a better understanding of their friendship.)
Exodus 17:12-13 “But Moses’ hands grew weary, so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it, while Aaron and Hur held up his hands, on on one side, and the other on the other side. So his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. And Joshua overwhelmed Almalek and his people wiht the sword.”
Aaron and Hur supported Moses. They held up his hands when he couldn’t do it anymore. Sometimes we just need a friend to walk alongside us and hold our hand. Not only did they help him hold up his hands, but they encouraged him to continue to do what God called him to do. How do your friendships measure in this area? Do you have friends holding your hand when you feel like you just can’t do it anymore? Are you friends encouraging you to be a trustworthy employee? Do they join you in the pity party or do they pull you up by encouraging you? What do you do for your friends?
Yet another example of Biblical friendship is portrayed in Mark 2:1-5. “And when he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. And many were gathered together, so that there was no more room, not even at the door. And he was preaching the word to them. And they came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four men. And when they could not get near him because of the crowd; they removed the roof above him, and when they had made an opening; they led down the bed on which the paralytic lay. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
These men were taking action for their friend. They were serving him by doing for him something he could not do for himself. He could not walk, so they carried him and brought him closer to Jesus. Do you have friends that will help you “carry your mat” when you are not able to do so? Are you helping your friends by taking action for them when they are unable to do it for themselves? Are you serving your friends? Do you act for your friends or do your just say you will do something and then never follow through? What can you start doing today to begin taking actions in your friendships?
Jesus is also a perfect example of sharing the load with his friends. He trained up 12 disciples. He shared meals with them, He shared His ministry with them and He shared His burdens with them.
He was friendly toward everyone.
This passage shows us this perfect example: Matthew 9:10-12 And as Jesus reclined at the table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.”
I need to note that Jesus wasn’t best friends with everyone, but He was friendly to everyone. So this passage is telling us that we need to be friendly with our coworkers, family members, Facebook friends, the people we meet at the gym and our neighbors. You have influence on each of these people, even if they do not have influence on you. You can positively influence their lives, even if they give you nothing in return.
So who are your friends? And what makes them special to you? What is a favorite memory you have with your friend? Why? How long have you known your best friend? What is something meaningful she has done with you? How does God use her to bless your life?
Our friends can bless us, but we can bless our friends in return. So, who is your Biblical Friend Forever and how can you be a better Biblical Friend Forever?
Last year at camp, I talked about our inner beauty as opposed to outer beauty. If you would like to read about it too, check it out here!