What Proverbs Says About Friendship

I’m writing this because being friends with someone can be very challenging. I’ve found that friendship is very rare as I’ve gotten older. When I was young, I couldn’t remember the names of all of my “friends”. Now that I’m a bit more seasoned, I’m thankful that I have at least one good friend (Matt, on the left in the photo above).

Friendship requires selflessness at a level I think to be similar in nature to parenting. Parents give and never ask for anything in return. Parents love and never expect to be loved back, though they hope they are.

Friendship In General

Proverbs 1:5 — A wise man will hear and increase learning, and a man of understanding will attain wise counsel.

*Being a good friend requires being a listener. It also requires that you’re genuinely interested in the interests of your friend. Finally, an understanding person invites friends into their lives as it is the medium by which counsel is introduced into ones life. 

Proverbs 6:1-5 — My son, if you become surety for your friend, if you have shaken hands in pledge for a stranger, you are ensnared by the words of your mouth; You are taken by the words of you mouth. So do this, my son, and deliver yourself; For you have come into the hand of your friend: Go and humble yourself; Plead with your friend. Give no sleep to your eyes, nor slumber to your eyelids. Deliver yourself like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, and like a bird from the hand of the fowler.

Proverbs 11:12 — He who is devoid of wisdom despises his neighbor, but a man of understanding holds his peace.

Proverbs 11:14 — Where there is no counsel, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.

Pursue This Kind Of Friendship(s)

Proverbs 1:7 — The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

*Friends should have similar interests. If you value wisdom, and your friend doesn’t, 1.) your friend is a fool, and 2.) you’re probably not going to come to an impasse regarding the Fear of the Lord.

Proverbs 11:13 — A talebearer reveals secrets, but he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter.

Proverbs 12:26 — The righteous should choose his friends carefully, for the way of the wicked leads them astray.

Proverbs 13:20 — He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed.

Do Not Pursue This Kind Of Friendship(s)

Proverbs 1:10-16 — My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent. If they say “come with us, let us lie in wait to shed blood; Let us lurk secretly for the innocent without cause; Let us swallow them alive like Sheol, and whole, like those who go down to the pit; We shall find all kinds of precious possessions, we shall fill our houses with spoil; Cast your lot among us, let us all have one purse” My son, do not walk in the way with them, keep your foot from their path; For their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed blood.

Proverbs 4:14-17 — Do not enter the paths of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of evil. Avoid it, do not travel on it; Turn away from it and pass on. For they do not sleep unless they have done evil; And their sleep is taken away unless they make someone fall. For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence.

Proverbs 4:19 — The way of the wicked is like darkness; They do not know what makes them stumble.

Proverbs 5:3-14 — For the lips of an immoral woman drip honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil; But in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death, her steps lay hold of hell. Lest you ponder her path of life — her ways are unstable; You do not know them. Therefore hear me now, my children, and do not depart from the words of my mouth. Remove your way far from her, and do not go near her house, lest you give your honor to others, and your years to the cruel one; Lest aliens be filled with your wealth, and your labors go to the house of a foreigner; and you mourn at last, when your flesh and your body are consumed, and say: “How I have hated instruction, and my heart despised correction! I have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined my ear to those who instructed me! I was on the verge of ruin, in the midst of the assembly and congregation.”

Proverbs 6:16-19 — These six things the Lord hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren.

Interaction In Friendship(s)

Proverbs 16:28 — A perverse man sows strife, and a whisperer separates the best of friends.

Proverbs 17:9 — He who covers a transgression seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates friends.

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

Proverbs 18:24 — A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

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