The Bible gives helpful insight about friends and friendship. Here are some truths we can glean from Scriptures:
1. Stronger friendships are those bonded by faith.
“I am a friend to all who fear you, to all who follow your precepts.” (Psalm 119:63)
We can be a friend to all, both to unbelievers and believers like us. But by spiritual design, we can discover the closest of friendships with those who hold the same faith and passion for God like we do. They are more spiritually keen on encouraging and restoring us in times of spiritual lowness. They know better how to give correction and reminders when we lose our way.
2. Gossipers are rarely good friends.
“A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends.” (Proverbs 16:28)
We trust that our closest friends do not speak about us to others and with right friends, that’s quite always true. It is rare though for one to be a habitual gossiper and yet at the same time be a true friend that can keep the confidence and secrets of other friends.
3. Hot-tempered friends are likely to get you in trouble and can even influence you to become hot-tempered too.
“Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn their ways and get yourself ensnared.” (Proverbs 22:24, 25)
“Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” 1 Corinthians 15:33)
Have you ever gotten in trouble on account of your friend? If yes, then you know from experience what these passages speak about. More so, a short fuse is easy to catch. You spend a lot of time with an impatient person and sooner or later, you become impatient yourself. So is being with an angry person.
4. Right friendships help you grow and improve.
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17)
“Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.”
C.S. Lewis believed that “The next best thing to being wise oneself is to live in a circle of those who are.” A thing demonstrated is easily caught. If you want stimulation then be with people who can stir your heart and mind toward higher knowledge and better pursuits. Treasure and spend more time with those that prod you towards improvement. Aim for friendships that build you up and not tear you down.
5. Good friends are qualified to be brutally frank.
“Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted.” (Proverbs 20:5,6)
“Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.” (Proverbs 27:9)
Oscar Wilde said, “True friends stab you in the front.” It is wrong to think that an argument is a sign of poor friendship. True friends should have the freedom to speak freely with one another. Open yourself to correction and opposition from your closest friends. You need honest views and insights that can help you make decisions and needed changes in your life.
Proverbs 12:26 says, “The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.” It is true that the people you choose to be with can either bring out the best or worst in you. We should remain friendly and accessible to all men so that we can reach people with the love of Christ. We should also be selective as to whom we spend more intimate moments with for these are the very people who will have an influence in the shaping of our hearts and minds.