What does the Bible say about friends?

what does the bible say about friends

Have you ever experienced the deep connection and joy that true friendship brings? The kind of friendship that goes beyond mere companionship and becomes an anchor for your soul, offering support, love, and unwavering loyalty?

Friendships have the power to shape our lives, influencing our thoughts, actions, and even our spiritual journey. This is why exploring the biblical wisdom on friendships is not only enlightening but also profoundly relevant to our lives.

In the pages of the Bible, we find timeless guidance on the significance of friends and their impact on our spiritual growth. From the Old Testament to the New Testament, biblical verses offer insights and instructions on the qualities of true friendship, the examples set by extraordinary bonds, and the dangers of negative influences.

In this article, we will delve into the wealth of wisdom the Bible provides on friendships. Together, we will explore the qualities of true friendship according to Proverbs, discover inspiring examples of friendship in the Bible, and understand the cautionary warnings against negative friendships. Lastly, we will reflect on friendship in light of the Gospel, recognizing the transformative power of friendship in our lives and our eternal destiny.

Join us on this remarkable journey through the Bible’s teachings on friendship, where we will uncover profound wisdom that will undoubtedly resonate deeply with your heart and enrich your relationships.

Qualities of True Friendship According to Proverbs

In the book of Proverbs, we find valuable insights into what true friendship should look like. These timeless teachings provide wisdom and guidance for cultivating deep and meaningful relationships based on love, loyalty, and wise advice.

1. Unconditional Love (Proverbs 17:17): A true friend loves at all times, showing unwavering support and care. True friendship is marked by selfless acts of kindness, understanding, and empathy.

2. Wise and Heartfelt Advice (Proverbs 27:9): A true friend offers counsel that is both wise and sincere. They speak words of encouragement, wisdom, and truth with the genuine desire to guide and uplift the other person.

“A true friend loves at all times, showing unwavering support and care.”

3. Willingness to Rebuke with Love (Proverbs 27:5-6): A true friend is not afraid to lovingly correct and rebuke when necessary. They have the other person’s best interests at heart and seek their growth and well-being.

4. Caution Against Bad Company (Proverbs 13:20): Proverbs warns about the negative influence of surrounding oneself with bad company. True friendship requires discernment in choosing our companions, as they can greatly impact our character and actions.

5. Importance of Loyalty (Proverbs 18:24): Loyalty is a foundational aspect of true friendship. Proverbs emphasizes the value of a loyal friend who sticks closer than a brother, emphasizing the trust and commitment needed in deep friendships.

When we strive to embody these qualities of true friendship as described in Proverbs, we can build lasting and meaningful connections based on love, wisdom, and support.

Qualities of True Friendship According to Proverbs
Unconditional Love (Proverbs 17:17)
Wise and Heartfelt Advice (Proverbs 27:9)
Willingness to Rebuke with Love (Proverbs 27:5-6)
Caution Against Bad Company (Proverbs 13:20)
Importance of Loyalty (Proverbs 18:24)

Examples of Friendship in the Bible

what does the bible say about friends

The Bible provides inspiring examples of true friendship that can serve as models for us. One notable example is the friendship between David and Jonathan. Jonathan’s loyalty to David surpassed even his loyalty to his own father. Their bond was so strong that Jonathan risked his own life to protect David from harm (1 Samuel 18:1-4; 20:14-17).

Another example of friendship in the Bible is found in the comforting relationship between Barzillai and David. When David was fleeing from his son Absalom, Barzillai provided him with food and support, showing kindness and loyalty to his friend (2 Samuel 19:25-26).

Similarly, we see the power of friendship in the story of Jephthah’s daughter. After her tragic fate was sealed, her friends came together to console her and commemorate her life, demonstrating the importance of companionship and support during difficult times (Judges 11:37-38).

These examples of friendship in the Bible illustrate the depth and impact of true companionship. They teach us that true friendship is characterized by selflessness, loyalty, and support, enabling us to both celebrate joys and endure sorrows together.

Warnings About Negative Friendships

In the book of Proverbs, we find valuable wisdom and warnings about the impact of negative friendships on our lives. These admonitions remind us of the importance of choosing our friends wisely and surrounding ourselves with positive influences that promote growth, love, and peace.

“A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends.” – Proverbs 16:28

Proverbs teaches us that friendships with individuals who spread gossip can have detrimental effects on relationships. Gossip not only creates division but also undermines trust and intimacy among friends. It is important to steer clear of such negative influences to maintain healthy and harmonious friendships.

“Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered.” – Proverbs 22:24

Hot-tempered individuals can be prone to outbursts of anger, which can lead to conflicts and strained relationships. Proverbs warns against forming friendships with those who have anger management issues, as their explosive behavior can easily influence and negatively impact those around them. It is important to surround ourselves with friends who demonstrate self-control and a peaceful spirit.

By heeding the wisdom found in Proverbs, we can protect ourselves from the pitfalls of negative friendships. Choosing friends who embody qualities like loyalty, trustworthiness, and love will not only bring joy and fulfillment but also contribute to our overall well-being and spiritual growth.

Friendship in Light of the Gospel

Friendship is a fundamental desire that resonates throughout the Bible, culminating in the message of the Gospel. In John 15:15, Jesus calls us friends, demonstrating His deep love and connection with us. But His friendship goes beyond mere words; He laid down His life for us in the ultimate act of friendship (John 15:13).

The Gospel brings restoration to our relationship with God and with one another, offering the opportunity for true friendship. It teaches us that friendship is not only a source of joy in this present life, but it also carries the promise of eternal life. The Gospel paints a beautiful picture of friendship with God, where we can experience His love, grace, and guidance as we walk with Him.

Jesus, our friend, shows us the way to live in friendship with God and with each other. Through Him, we learn the true meaning of selfless love, forgiveness, and compassion. His example challenges us to cultivate deep and meaningful friendships based on these principles. As we embrace the Gospel message, we are invited into a community of believers who share a common bond in Christ—a bond that transcends cultural, social, and earthly boundaries.

In the new creation, true friendship will find its eternal fulfillment. As we enter into the joy of eternal life, we will experience an unimaginable depth of friendship with God and with one another. This friendship is not confined to our mortal existence but reaches into eternity, where we will dwell in perfect unity and harmony. It is a friendship that satisfies the deepest longings of our souls and brings us everlasting joy.


What does the Bible say about friends?

The Bible offers wisdom on the significance of friends and their impact on our spiritual journey.

Are there any specific verses in the Bible that emphasize the value of friendship?

Yes, verses like Proverbs 18:24 highlight the importance of a loyal friend who sticks closer than a brother.

What insights does Proverbs offer about true friendship?

Proverbs teaches that true friendship involves unconditional love, wise advice, rebuke when necessary, and loyalty.

Can you provide examples of true friendship from the Bible?

Yes, notable examples include the friendship between David and Jonathan, the comforting friendship of Barzillai toward David, and the friends who consoled Jephthah’s daughter in her sorrow.

Does the Bible provide any warnings about unhealthy friendships?

Proverbs cautions against forming friendships with hot-tempered individuals, those who spread gossip, and individuals given to anger and wrath.

How does the Gospel connect with the concept of friendship?

The Gospel teaches that Jesus calls us friends and demonstrates the ultimate act of friendship by laying down his life for us. It offers the restoration of true friendship with God and with one another.

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