19 November 2008

Biblical Friendship – 11.19.08

Judges 14:20 But Samson's wife was given to his companion, whom he had used as his friend.

Well, this situation didn't turn out real well for either Samson or his "friend." Samson lost his new wife to this guy, but he didn't enjoy that marriage very long either because in the very next chapter the Philistines burn the woman and her father with fire (not sure what else they would burn them with, but that's what it says in 15:6).

If there is anything that is obvious about Samson's life it is the fact that he cared about absolutely no one besides himself. And those kinds of people are never the right kind of friend. Because they're only your friend as long as it's advantageous for them to be so. As long as they get some kind of benefit out of the friendship.

The Golden Rule is a good admonition here. Matthew 7:12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. If you've ever been "used" by somebody you thought was your "friend," then you know how badly it hurts. So whatever you do, be careful not to inflict that pain on someone else.

Now, here's a quick look at what the Bible says about true friendship.

Proverbs 17:17 A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

Proverbs 18:24 A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

Proverbs 27:6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.

Proverbs 27:9 Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man's friend by hearty counsel.

Proverbs 27:17 Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

A true friend is someone who is genuinely concerned about another's well being, which concern is made manifest by his words and action. A true friend is someone who is not afraid to tell the truth, even if the truth is painful for you to hear. A true friend is someone you can go to and know they'll tell you what's right regardless of whether or not it's what you want to hear. A true friend is someone who rubs off on you – in a good way.

In light of these verses, here are a few thoughts.

  • Are you a true friend to those who think of you as such? The friend that sticketh closer than a brother lives within us, so we definitely can and ought to be.
  • Can you think of anybody you've "used" as your friend like Samson did? Then get that thing right.
  • Considering the great influence your friends will have on you, do you choose them wisely? 2 Corinthians 6 warns about an unequal yoke.
  • Do you have true friends after the biblical sense? Then thank God for them, and let them know you appreciate them as well.

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