FRIENDS - Part 3
The truth is, we can’t choose our family. We love them, but we don’t always like all of them. The wonderful thing about good friends is that they can become like family of choice. Some friends are in our lives for a season, and some are there forever. The good news is that we can always look forward to some of the best relationships in the future. Even if friendship is painful in one season, you can be sure it has the possibility of being wonderful in the next.
The Bible says in Proverbs 18:24
“Friends come and friends go, but a true friend sticks by you like family.” (The Message translation)
FRIENDSHIP is known to most of us as, “a close trusting relationship between people.”
The Dictionary definition of “FRIEND” is:
- a list of contacts associated with social networking or situational acquaintance.
- a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection and trust.
These are two very different definitions!
The word “FRIEND” in the Holman Bible Dictionary, is described as this:
“Nowhere does the Bible present a concise definition of “friend” or “friendship.” Instead, both the Old and New Testaments present friendship in its different facets.
Two Hebrew root words, r'h and ahv , are used to describe friendship.
1. r'h denotes an associate or [situational] companion
2. ahv connotes the object of one's affection or devotion—a true friend.
Consequently, friendship may be simple association OR truly loving companionship.
To build healthy friendships, we need to ascertain who our associate friends are and who our true companions are…
Our “associate friendships” are situational or circumstantial friendships..
- Same class at school
- Same floor at work
- Same street in neighborhood
- Same life experience support group
- Same team at church!!
So… How do we work out the difference between “associate friends” and “true friends”… ?
Over the next few weeks, we are going to look at 7 Characteristics of True Friends ..
1. A True FRIEND brings out your best
“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” Proverbs 27:17 [New Living Translation]
- A true friend will always encourage you to do your best.
- A true friend won’t cause division in your call.
- A true friend won’t cause division in your marriage.
- A true friend won’t cause division with your kids.
- A true friend takes a back seat to ensure YOUR BEST.
2. A True FRIEND protects their friends
“A troublemaker plants seeds of strife; gossip separates the best of friends.” Proverbs 16:28 [New Living Translation]
- A true friend won’t allow seeds of strife to be sown in them.
- A true friend won’t listen to gossip about ANYONE!
- A true friend will speak up for their friends.
3. A True FRIEND keeps their promises
1 Who may worship in your sanctuary, Lord?
Who may enter your presence on your holy hill?
2 Those who lead blameless lives and do what is right,
speaking the truth from sincere hearts.
3 Those who refuse to gossip
or harm their neighbors
or speak evil of their friends.
4 Those who despise flagrant sinners,
and honor the faithful followers of the Lord,
and keep their promises even when it hurts.
Psalm 15:1-4 [New Living Translation]
- True friends do what is right
- They are sincere
- They refuse to gossip
- They honor the faithful followers of the Lord
- And keep their promises even when it hurts.
Next week we will discover together two more characteristics of “TRUE FRIENDS.”