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Building Strong and Lasting Bonds: Exploring Biblical Friendship

Updated: Dec 3, 2023



Introduction

Friendship is a timeless aspect of human life, and it plays a significant role in our emotional and spiritual well-being. Throughout history, friendships have been celebrated in literature, art, and philosophy. The Bible, too, offers profound insights into the nature of friendship, showcasing examples of companionship, loyalty, and support that can guide us in cultivating meaningful relationships in our own lives. In this blog, we will explore the concept of biblical friendship, highlighting key principles and lessons that can help us build strong and lasting bonds with others.


The Essence of Biblical Friendship

Biblical friendship is rooted in the idea of selfless love and sacrificial service. In John 15:13 (NIV), Jesus says, "Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends." This verse highlights the essence of biblical friendship—willingness to sacrifice for the well-being of a friend. True friends are there for each other in times of need, offering emotional support, encouragement, and even material help when necessary. Additionally, we are told that two is better than one, for where one fails the other is there to support (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12), for the metaphor of iron sharpening iron is to apply to all areas of the friendship for we often become who we associate with. Many of us can probably name one person who was a Christian and began dating someone who was not, and within six months of being sharpened by non-Christian influences they confess that they identify with the atheistic or agnostic beliefs. For more information check out, "Perfect Friendships for Imperfect People: Discovering the True Meaning of Biblical Friendship" by Kerry Nenn.


Loyalty and Trust

One of the foundational aspects of biblical friendship is loyalty and trust. Proverbs 17:17 (NIV) states, "A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity." This verse reminds us that true friends are steadfast, standing by our side during both good times and difficult moments. They are reliable and trustworthy, making us feel safe and valued. God has been forever loyal to his people, his Church, hi children and as we demonstrate God to the world, we are to likewise exhibit a commitment that is unparalleled as someone that can be depended on. Aside from witnessing to people in our actions, our friends need to have someone they can rely on too. Don't fall into the trap of thinking they don't need as much attention because their friendship is secured.


Accountability and Growth

Biblical friendship also involves accountability and spiritual growth. In Proverbs 27:17 (NIV), it says, "As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another." Friends who share their faith can help each other grow spiritually by providing guidance, correction, and encouragement in their journey of faith. They hold each other accountable for living a life that aligns with their shared values and beliefs. This is major point spoken about earlier. One of the biggest weaknesses within the Christian life

e is us and we are not only inclined to sin but also highly inclined to justify it because our flesh desires sin. Having another person invested in our sanctification, holiness, and loves us that is also willing to call out our sin will tremendously help our growth. For more information check out, "Simple Accountability: And Its Necessity In Your Life & Walk" by Dana Coverstone.


Forgiveness and Reconciliation

Friendships, like all relationships, can face challenges and conflicts. However, biblical friendship emphasizes forgiveness and reconciliation. Matthew 18:15 (NIV) offers guidance on addressing conflicts within friendships: "If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over." This verse encourages open and honest communication to resolve issues and maintain the bond of friendship.


Selflessness and Humility

Philippians 2:3-4 (NIV) reminds us of the importance of selflessness and humility in our friendships: "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others." Biblical friendship encourages us to prioritize the well-being and needs of our friends above our own, fostering an atmosphere of love and care.


Unconditional Love

One of the most profound teachings on love can be found in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV), which applies to friendships as well: "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." True biblical friendships are built on this kind of love, which is unconditional and enduring.


Conclusion

Biblical friendship is a source of strength, comfort, and spiritual growth. It is characterized by selflessness, loyalty, trust, and unconditional love. By applying these principles and drawing inspiration from biblical examples, we can cultivate meaningful and lasting friendships in our own lives. As we strive to embody the essence of biblical friendship, we can experience the profound joy and fulfillment that come from connecting with others on a deep, spiritual level. Ultimately, these friendships not only enrich our lives but also reflect the divine love and grace that the Bible teaches us to embrace.


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