Christian F.R.I.E.N.D.S.hip (Part 1)November 20, 2013 at 1:16 pm | Posted in Biblical friendship, Uncategorized | 8 Comments
Tags: 2 Corinthians 6, 2 Samuel 13, Biblical friendship, Ephesians 4, friendship, James 4, Luke 11, Proverbs 27, true friendship
But Amnon had a friend, whose name [was] Jonadab, the son of Shimeah David’s brother: and Jonadab [was] a very subtil man.
II Samuel 13:3 (emphasis added)
Christians are supposed to have friends and we are supposed to be friends. Did you know there is a difference between being friends with someone and being a friend to someone?
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
II Corinthians 6:14
Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
As Christians, we are not supposed to get involved in the sinful activities of non-Christians, which means you really shouldn’t be friends with non-Christians, but you definitely should be a friend to all sorts of non-Christians. Therefore, we serve and love them, but we shouldn’t compromise our stand for Jesus, and we should make sure they know that our loyalty to Christ comes before our loyalty to them. So, if a lost person falls down, you help him up – that’s being a friend to him; but if he fell down because he was doing something wrong, you don’t start doing it too, because that would make you friends with him.
Let’s look at what it takes to be friends with another Christian.
One of the most important things to remember about being a Christian is that you are a forgiven sinner. You can’t be a Christian without acknowledging your sinfulness. Therefore, when two Christians are friends, that means two sinners have become friends. And sinners sometimes sin against each other. Friends make mistakes, they hurt each other’s feelings, they say the wrong thing, they let each other down sometimes. But if they are truly friends they respond to the sin of their friend the way that Jesus responds to our sins.
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
If your friend is a Christian, then that means God punished Jesus on the Cross for what your friend has done wrong to you. Would it be right for you to punish your friend for something for which God has already punished Jesus? No. Be a good friend. Be forgiving. Be gracious. Be merciful.
Being a good friend doesn’t mean you always do what your friend wants you to do, but it does mean that you respond when your friend has a real need.
And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee. I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth.
A good friend listens; he doesn’t just wait for his turn to talk. Even though listening is important, “doing” is usually the most significant part of service in Christian friendship, but not just “doing something.” They key is in doing what’s right for your friend in each situation – which means listening closely when your friend has something to say. Anybody can talk; it takes skill and patience to listen. God gave us two ears and one mouth – some of us need to take the hint.
A good friend is someone who gives good advice. That means he evaluates what’s going on, and then finds out what the Bible has to say about something before he just blurts out whatever comes to mind.
Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so [doth] the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel.
Things that smell good are attractive – and they make people happy. The insight of a friend is the same way. “Hearty counsel” means insight or advice that turns out to be right. A good friend will pray about it, seek God’s will about it, look in the Bible, talk to someone wise about it, then carefully give good counsel. A bad friend says let’s just do the first thing that seems right, or let’s just do what everyone else does in this situation.
You can probably tell by now that I’m using an acrostic – F.R.I.E.N.D.S. – to list some qualifications of Christian friendship. Next time, we will look at the E.N.D.S.