In light of my last post titled, "The Goal", I've decided to look at friendships and what the bible has to say about them.
Proverbs 18:24 says, A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
This is a verse I use with my kids whenever they are going into a situation where they don't know anyone. I tell them to be friendly so that they will make friends.
What should we look for in a friend? In order to find this out lets look at Jesus and see how He chose friends. There are a few things we know:
1) He prayed every morning for the Fathers direction. God directed Him to the men he was supposed to become friends with. (The 12 disciples)
2) Jesus only chose friends who were Christians. They had to believe in Him before they could be close friends. (See Matthew 4:18-21)
As far as I can tell these were the only two things He looked for in friends, having God's approval and making sure they believed. Based on these two criteria, we can evaluate those we are close friends with.
I am not implying that you shouldn't be involved with non-believers. Jesus was chastised for eating with the worst of sinners!
Matthew 11:19 The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners.
The fact is that He chose believers to be His close friends, you know, the 12. So we should have two groups of friends, those whom we associate with, and those we hold close to us, as confidants. It's kind of like not being unequally yoked together with unbelievers. Jesus takes friendships seriously.
Let's look at Matthew 12:48-49 But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!
The world says, "blood is thicker than water", but according to this verse, Jesus' blood is the strongest bond of all!
So now we know what the bible says about choosing friends, on Friday we'll look at what to expect of these friendships.
If you have an opinion on this post, I'd love to hear it. As I was typing it, I could feel that there may be controversy on the idea that our close friendships should only be with Christians, and I welcome your comments.