Friendship is esteemed and celebrated. The Bible teaches many things about friendship.
1) Friend of Sinners: The Lord Jesus Christ was a radical who called his disciples as friends. (John 15:15) During his earthly ministry Lord Jesus Christ termed Lazar as His friend. (John 11:11) Even when gurus treat their disciples as dirt, the Son of God esteems his disciples as friends. Self-righteous religious leaders mocked Lord Jesus Christ as Friend of Sinners. (Matthew 11:19) For those religious leaders, sinners should be annihilated and not made as friends. True friends sacrifice. (John 15:13)
2) Friend of God: Because of his faith and obedience Abraham was called a Friend of God. (James 2:23)
3) Good friends: Honest counsel from friends is sweet, better than perfume. (Proverbs 27:9) It is good to have true friends who are transparent and direct in communication. Their rebukes are valued. (Proverbs 27: 5-6) True loving friends rejoice in progress – there is no envy. Jonathan was Prince and son of Saul, he was the next king, but God chose David. Instead of being envious, he made a covenant friendship with David. (I Samuel 18) Friends always love. (Proverbs 17:17)
4) Bad friends? There are also red flags. Too many friends could ruin us. (Proverbs 18:24) It is especially true in the hyper connected digital generation. Bad, evil, wicked, unrighteous, and selfish friends can ruin our moral values and push us to spiritual despondency. (I Corinthians 15:33)
5) Miserable Friends: Friends who are not in the same wavelength could be ‘miserable comforters’ as were the friends of Job. (Job 16:2)
6) Angry friends: Beware of hot-headed friends. They are unpredictable and unstable; they could be dangerous. (Proverbs 22: 24-25)
The greatest true friend of all times is Lord Jesus Christ. Let us sing along with Joseph M. Scriven: “What a Friend we have in Jesus….”
Have I responded to the friend request of Lord Jesus Christ?