Friendship Should Be Candid but Careful

Proverbs 27:5-6 says, 

5 Open rebuke is better
Than love carefully concealed.

6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend,
But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.

 

It is hard to think that to be a good friend you might have to wound your friend.  However, Scripture teaches that a true friend will tell us the truth even when it hurts.  This is easy to say but hard to practice.

 

In fact, God's Word tell us the one who flatters us is laying a trap....

A man who flatters his neighbor
Spreads a net for his feet.
  (Proverbs 29:5)

 

However, when we are called upon to speak the truth to our friend we should always do so out of a heart of love.  We must be careful when we are candid to be forthright for the right reason.  It is important to be led by the Spirit.  Timing is crucial and only the Holy Spirit can lead you to the right time and the right place for the right reason.

28 The heart of the righteous studies how to answer,
But the mouth of the wicked pours forth evil.

Proverbs 15:28

 

Constant Friendship

Laura Ingalls Wilder said, "Remember well, and bear in mind, a constant friend is hard to find."  Friends move in and out of our lives like waves lapping on the shore.  Truly constant friends are hard to find.

The Bible is not silent on this issue.  Proverbs 17:17 reminds us "a friend loves at all times".  A true friend is constant.  A true friend is consistent. A true friend is continually finding ways to connect.

True friendship rises above the circumstances of life and maintains itself through the good and the bad.  Here are several Biblical friendships worthy of your study:

1. David & Jonathan - Probably the most famous friendship in the Bible,  1 Samuel 18 describes their friendship: “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.”  Three crucial elements of friendship are found in their relationship; love, loyalty, and emotional openness.

2. Moses & Aaron - This partnership created by God is perhaps the best example of what can be accomplished when two friends work together.  God used their gifts to complement each other.

3. Elijah & Elisha - This friendship illustrates how important it is to purposefully select your friends.  Elisha said to Elijah,  “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.”

4. Naomi & Ruth - Again, this friendship shows us the value of loyalty, of unconditional love and self-sacrifice. Ruth didn’t hesitate to give when Naomi was in need. This is the kind of action that creates the strongest of friendships, and gives us a sense of security—we know that when we’re in trouble, someone will be there for us.

5. Jesus & Mankind - Finally, there is the ultimate example of friendship—not just of friendship, but of relationship—that between man and Christ. Jesus, in John 15:13 says that “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” 

Christ is the purest example of a friend we can find in the Bible, laying down His life—His extraordinarily valuable life—for the friends, whom he loved. Although he had the power to call those around Him His servants, He called them friend, instead.


 

True Friendships are Crucial

Roman Catholic nun, Mother Teresa, who spent her whole life working with destitute people in India, said that the worst disease was not leprosy, AIDS, or cancer, but loneliness.  What makes people happiest in life? Some people may point to fame and fortune.   Yet, this is not the case.  Faith, Family, and Friends are what make people the most happy. 

So, it should not be a surprise that isolation is a serious detriment to a person's mental and physical health.   God has created within us a need for relationships.  He never meant for us to do life alone.  He desires for us to have a vertical relationship with Him and a horizontal relationship with others.  Failure to do so results in disappointment and heartache.

Yes, true friendships are crucial.  Jesus said this to his disciples.  "No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you." (John 15:15)  As believers, that is why we sing the song "What a Friend We Have in Jesus". 

I promise you this.  Make Jesus your best friend and God will send you more friends than you can count. Start today and never be alone again.