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What the Bible says about friends and friendship

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Friendship is a relationship of mutual affection between two or more people. Friendship is a stronger form of interpersonal bond than just an association. A World Database of Happiness study found that people with close friendships are happier, and makes for overall well-being. A number of other studies have found that strong social supports improve a person's prospects for good health and longevity.

Some people find it hard to make friends even though the Bible gives the formula for making friends, "A man that hath friends must show himself friendly" (Proverbs 18: 24). In order to have friends, one must be friendly. Nobody wants to be friends with an unfriendly person.

The Bible is not silent when it comes to the subjects of friends and friendship. The word "friend" is found about ninety times in the Bible. Real friendship involves obedience. Abraham followed God's instructions, and he is known as a "friend of God." Real friendship involves face-to-face honesty and loyalty. God and Moses talked face to face. Real friendship involves knowing what on God's mind and what's in His heart. David was considered a "man after God's own heart."

There is great value in friendship. Solomon, the wise man in the Bible wrote, "Two are better than one."(Ecclessiastes 4: 9) Friends usually have something in common; not everything but most things. Friends can have fun together when they like some of the same things. A true friend will stand by, even in times of trouble.

A true friend will tell us when we are wrong. Hear the Bible, "Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful" (Proverbs 27: 6). Genuine friends must be cherished and not forsaken (Proverbs 27: 10).

The Bible also warns us about false friends. According to Proverbs 25:19, "Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint." The Bible warns us to stay away from some people and not have them as friends. For instance, "Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go" (Proverbs 22: 24).

Jesus offers man His friendship. Jesus said, "Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you" (John 15: 14). Jesus is the ultimate friend of man. "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends" (John 15: 13). Jesus died for everyone and shed his blood for the remission of man's sins (Hebrews 2: 9; Matthew 26: 28). Therefore, He wants to be a friend to all.

True friendship is one of the great gifts of life. Man in his friendship with Jesus, must obey Jesus (John 15: 14). He must believe, repent, confess Jesus as his Savior, and be baptized in the name of Jesus.

If you have Jesus as a friend, you have the best friend of all.

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