A friend in need…
In this world of solitude and broken families, the greatest curse and the poverty is the lack of companionship and friends. The elders and the aged population are victims of loneliness while the young and the children have become so busy with life and technology that they don’t have a care about anyone other than their self.
Loneliness strikes us the most when we are left alone in our grief, and no one to share our happiness with, no one to take our advice from, and no one to laugh with about our memories. The songwriter has captured our need for our best friend in the song- What a friend we have in Jesus!
Let us look at some of the verses from the Bible about friendship defining it in the best manner:
Greatest Friend- Jesus
John 15: 13
Through this verse, Jesus reveals what true friendship looks like. No matter how close we are to our best friends, there are some deep secrets within us which we don’t reveal to anyone, not even with them. But, in Jesus, we have a friend who is more significant to none. He knows our thoughts and our hidden secrets. There is nothing hidden to Him, and yet He loves our real self. Our friends, relatives or family might not know what is going on in our life. They are content with the exterior façade that we have put up to hide our flaws and defects. But, the penetrating eyes of God looks into our hearts deep within and yet He acknowledges the good within us. In Jesus, you will find a friend who loves you for who you are. He has brought us with a price that can never be repaid- with His life for us!
There is no greater friendship on this earth than the one you build with Jesus!
What sort of friendship should you look out for in men?
A Sweet Friendship
Proverbs 27: 9 “Sweet friendship refreshes the Soul.”
The wisest among the wise who is none other than the gifted King Solomon taught us in detail about human relationships. He gave his advice on friendship in a long list of attributes and qualities of a real and best friend. In your much-complicated life where you do not know what life has in store for you, it is the sweet nature of your friend that will keep you refreshed and jolly. So, look out for a sweet friend who will be there for you even when you are depressed and discouraged. Make sure you are there for your friend when he needs little encouragement in his life.
Sirach 6: 14 “Faithful friend is a sturdy shelter.”
This is another of the qualities of real friendship. It is complicated to find a faithful friend in this world, primarily because we are not committed to ourselves. We prioritize our needs and goals so much to the point of excluding and ignoring our very best friends. But the Bible says that finding a faithful friend is a real treasure in itself. He is someone who will keep your secrets and won’t deceive you. Such a person can be trusted in a world where even your kin won’t shy from cheating.
A faithful friend has been compared to that of a strong and unshakeable shelter. A defense that will be there for you during your dark times and a shade that will help you get back on your feet from your fall.
Proverbs 18: 24 “True friend sticks by you like family.”
Through thick and thin the one who stands by you and supports you even at your worst is the true friend. This verse reveals the practicality of our human relationships with one another. We all have friends at our workplace, in the neighborhood, at school, and in Church. We are as well friends to many people. To some, we might be quite close while some friendships are merely casual.
The verse says that our friends change as we change in our lives. But in order to be a true friend or to find the same, we have got to stick and lean on one another like a family. You cannot be a true friend and disown them in public.
Proverbs 17: 17 “A friend loves at all times.”
The Book of Proverbs gives the best advice to the youth and the elders on what to expect from this life on earth. There are some verse that speaks regarding maintaining a friendship. If you are a good friend to someone then better be there for him in both his joy and sorrows. Your faithful friend will be supportive of your decisions and will reach out his hand to pull you up from your miseries, mistakes, and judgments.
In this world, the best loving friend that you can ever find is Jesus. You can bet your life that he will be there for you at all times. He has promised to never leave you on your own and to guide you through even in the valley of death.
Proverbs 27: 9 “… the sweetness of a friend by hearty counsel.”
If there were a place on earth where trustworthy friends could be found, then it would have been looted by now! This is because good friends will give you good advice and not lead you to jump over the cliff. Now, this wise king has compared the honest advice and counsel of a loving friend to that of the fragrance of oil and perfume. A good friend’s counseling is as rich and potent to the aroma of the priceless scent. It is the sweet and honest nature of oneself that gets reflected in your friendship with your friend and vice-versa. Such a combination is a rare find, and God is the best counseling friend out there for you.
1 Samuel 18: 3 Friendship like that of David and Jonathan
Can two businessmen competitors, or political opponents be friends? Or the better question that this verse answers would be that no fame, name, position, title or stipulations can separate two friends. When it comes to the earnest and sincere love or affection between two friends, you are to hold the promise and oath that you have taken. Jonathan was Israel’s young prince, but he never saw himself contending with David as the heir to the throne. David was honored and blessed to have a friend like Jonathan, and he abides by the covenant they made to each other. True to his word, David looks after Jonathan’s son Mephibosheth like a royal prince. It is said that Jonathan’s son had a place at the king’s table always.
They did not let the political turmoil and King Saul’s insecurities to drive a wedge in their friendship. Be honest and kind to your friend in all that you promise him.
Beware of Gossips!
Proverbs 16: 28 “Gossip separates close friends.”
It is very much right that a lousy rumor spread around here and there can become a considerable pricking throne at your side. You cannot be a good friend if you can’t keep his secrets to yourself. Your unintentional gossip about your friend can harm him and your relations in ten different ways.
At the same time, do not let some mere untrue gossip or rumor to drive a wedge between your friendship. Let people say what they want but become an anchor for your friend in his time of need, and he will be obliged to stay by your side because of your goodwill.
Looking out for You
Proverbs 27: 5-6 “Wounds from a friend can be trusted.”
As odd and unbelievable as it may sound, your friend’s admonition is from a right place. It is not meant to discourage you but to show you the right way and direction. Flattery is not what you would get from your actual friends but words of wisdom and advice. If you wish well for your friend, then you would be straight with him upfront even if it displeases him. Do not get deceived by your enemies’ false sweetness. Your friend’s criticism will make you see things differently. It is a blessing in disguise to have such great friends by your sides.
Proverbs 25: 17 “A friend sharpens a friend.”
When your family and kinsmen lose their belief in you, when you feel like quitting and giving up, it is then that know the value of your friend. Being a good friend means to motivate others and to encourage your friends to be active, aware and pleasant beings. The verse here is a simile compared with that of the strength and the sharpness of iron. Your companionship defines your characteristics and so chose your friend wisely. Do not befriend that ‘ill rotten apple’ that means you harm, instead let your good company of friends become an encouragement to each other.
Friends are for life and when Jesus is your best friend then fear not about anything!