7 Awesome Bible Verses About Friendship
Here are seven great Bible verses on friendship.
Proverbs 18:24 “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”
I have someone at the church where I pastor at who is a very dear and near friend of mine. We are closer than I am to my blood brother and that is the idea behind Solomon’s proverb. You would think your natural brother or sister would stick close to you during times of adversity but a Christian brother or sister can stick even closer because we have the same Father. We might better identify with what they’re going through, particularly if they’re being persecuted for their faith. Jesus once said “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26). This isn’t saying we are to hate our own family but compared to our love for Christ it will look like hate to unbelievers. That same type of affection is the level that some Christian brothers and sisters reach in their friendship with one another.
John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”
Surely you can imagine taking a bullet for your spouse and/or your children to save their lives but what about a friend? Jesus said that there is no greater love than to give your life for someone, even a friend, but there is more to this agape love that Jesus just spoke about in John 15:13. Jesus came and lived a sinless life and “at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die” (Rom 5:6-7). This is how “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8). He showed this love without a word as He hung on the cross. Just think of the fact that Jesus died “while we were enemies [but] we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son” (Rom 5:10). Would you die for your friend, particularly if they were a fellow brother or sister in Christ? Would I?
Proverbs 17:17 “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”
Since we know that God is sovereign, nothing is coincidental in our lives. I truly believe that God directs certain people into our lives and at the exact time and for His specific purposes. A true friend should love at all times and our God-ordained friends were born for these times of adversity! Their love is unconditional and is irrespective of the levels of adversity their friend faces. If even a sparrow doesn’t fall to the ground that God’s not aware of, you know He was intentional in having us cross paths in life with certain people, including our closest friend. It is God Who brings our closest brother or sister in Christ into our lives. This friend really can love you “at all times,” even in times of great adversity.
Job 6:14 “He who withholds kindness from a friend forsakes the fear of the Almighty.”
People might forget that the Book of Job is part of the wisdom literature of the Bible and the last portion of the book has God Himself speaking. This is the oldest book in the Bible and it would better fit the time period of the first fifth of the Book of Genesis and even well before the Mosaic Law, Job apparently understood a lot about God and His laws. One thing that must have angered Job was how his three friends, who at first came to console him, quickly turned on him and blamed him for his suffering. They withheld any kindness from him and they falsely accused him of sinning and then not confessing it. That wasn’t the case. Job’s friends eventually forsook him, so this verse, where he says a withholding kindness from a friend is like forsaking the fear of the Almighty, was possibly directed at them. Job equated the forsaking of a friend in need (of kindness) to forsaking “the fear of the Almighty.” That sounds serious but that’s just what Job’s friends had done and God was angry at these three men for doing it.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!”
We live in a neighborhood where middle aged to senior citizen couples take walks together. It’s a lot easier for couples to take walks together because there’s safety in numbers; even with two. Solomon could see the benefit of if one fell, the other would be there to pick them up; either physically or emotionally. The woe is for that one who is alone for they’ve got none to help “lift him up!” Two are better than one because they’ve got each other’s back.
John 15:15 “No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.”
How humbling this must have been for the disciples to hear Jesus Christ call them “friends” and not servants anymore. Maybe that’s because Jesus had finished His earthly training with them and they were well prepared to do the Master’s work but now it was no longer a Master-servant relationship; it was a relationship like that of a friend. That means a friend does things out of love and pure devotion for their friend, not as a compulsory command from a master to a servant.
Proverbs 27:9 “Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.”
There is something pleasant about being around our best friend or friends. It’s like catching a whiff of a fragrant perfume; it makes “the heart glad.” The true sweetness in your relationship with your friend comes from their ability to speak frankly and honestly to you and who loves you enough to tell you the truth, even if it hurts. You sometimes seek their counsel, even if it means bouncing something off of them to see what they think. You care enough to ask them their opinion and your friend cares enough to tell you what they think. The sweetness of this friendship is rooted in “earnest counsel” meaning, sincere, genuine, authentic counsel, where there are no hidden motives or agendas.
It is true that “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy” (Prov 27:6). I use this verse to remind my closest friend and also my senior pastor mentor (now retired due to health) that if I’m ever found to be in biblical error, they have my permission to “wound me” because I would rather be corrected than incorrect and correction from a friend is better than the “kisses of an enemy.” Flattery gets you nowhere, iron sharpening iron does (Prov 27:17), especially since rust never sleeps.