Tim Truzy is a minister in a Christian church, and he has participated in other religions.
The Importance of Friendships in the Christian Faith
Every week, millions of Christians flock to churches, like the one in the photo above, to worship. They share beliefs and values in a space meant to honor God. They come with family members. They may invite coworkers and companions. The congregation interacts with the church staff—they act as followers of the teachings of Jesus Christ. They are friends in their faith.
Friendship is an important responsibility of the Christian faith, much as it is in some other religions. Friendship is often defined as having a close relationship or bond which may be emotional or have some other attaching quality. The Judeo-Christian Bible has verses about the meaning of friendship in both the Old Testament and the New Testament.
Within the New Testament are books referred to as “The Gospel of Jesus Christ,” because His teachings and travels with His disciples are the focal point of the texts. Indeed, Jesus spoke about friendship in several passages during His Ministry in the world dominated by the Roman Empire. Verses from the Old Testament and the New Testament follow with short interpretations which should be helpful.
Verses From the Old Testament on Friendship
The Judeo-Christian Bible is divided into the Old and New Testament. In each, there are subsections known as “books.” (A picture of a Bible is provided.) The first part of the Bible is the Old Testament. The Old Testament chronicles the trials and successes of the Israelites, the Jewish people. A few of the books in the Old Testament have powerful verses pertaining to friendship. Three of those verses and meanings are given below:
- Proverbs 14:7—Stay away from fools because you will not find knowledge. This Bible verse instructs us to flee from those people who appear to be challenged in various areas of their life by their own deeds and attitudes. Yet, the Bible informs us God watches over all. Inasmuch we are still to be humane and friendly to such people because we are all His Creations.
- Proverb 22:24—Make no friendship with a man that is given to anger; and with a wrathful man thou shalt not go. This proverb explains how we should not befriend people who are driven by anger. It’s good advice to avoid hot-tempered people; rational and spiritual awareness are not at the forefront of their conduct. Befriending such people can eventually bring you heartache or worse.
- Proverbs 18:24—He who make many friends doeth it at his own destruction; but there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. We are reminded from this verse to count on the teachings of our Christian beliefs. This verse is reassuring in informing us Jesus is always there. The verse also cautions us to make quality friends because having a lot of fair-weather friends can be detrimental to our well-being.
Bible Verses From the New Testament on Friendship
Although Christians attend different churches of various designs, they are bonded by a fundamental belief. They pray together during their services. They may sing songs in jubilation. After they worship as a group, many will probably share a meal together. (Another church is shown in the photo.)
Furthermore, Christians also take the words of Jesus Christ and His Disciples (students) as food for thought and behavior. In fact, the Apostle Paul, one of the former disciples, wrote an entire chapter in the Book of Corinthians on how Christians should interact with each other and those who do not share the Christian faith. For this reason, 1 Corinthians 13 is called the “love chapter. Below are a few verses from the New Testament on friendship:
- 1 Corinthians 15:33—Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” This verse refers to the fact we learn good manners by observing and imitating those who have them. If we surround ourselves with those who do not practice respectful communications, then eventually, we will adopt those bad patterns of interacting with others for ourselves.
- Colossians 3:12—Therefore, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience; The Apostle Paul is instructing believers to adopt these spiritual qualities in order to demonstrate a love of God. Paul elaborates on how these qualities eventually draw people closer together. He suggests manifesting these positive traits creates more rewarding friendships. He explains that also we should be willing to forgive others.
- John 15:12—Jesus said, “This is my commandment that you love one another, even as I have loved you." Jesus is speaking about how we should be loving beings. Jesus tells His followers that “love” is the greatest commandment of them all. Essentially, without love in a person’s heart, any enjoyable and enduring friendship is impossible.
- John 15:13—Jesus continued, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” This quote from Jesus signifies the highest commitment of true sincere friendship. The verse was foreshadowing the events to come for Jesus Christ as well. Nevertheless, Jesus was indicating how important the power of friendships can be in our lives.
The Power of Friendship
One trait of friendship which the Bible points to is crucial. Christians recognize Jesus Christ as the Son of God; He demonstrates miraculous powers in the New Testament. Yet, He did not use such powers to recruit His students. Love was His gift, attracting His followers.
Also, Jesus Christ chose from all of the classes of people in society at that time for His disciples. His students, among others, consisted of a doctor, a former tax collector, and several fishermen. These followers eventually all became apostles, teachers who carried the ideas of Jesus to the masses. Our message: Our friendships should not be confining—our friendships should try to reach as many good people as possible.
Two More Verses
- In conclusion, in the Book of Luke 6:31, we are advised to “do to others as we would have done to us.” Apostle Luke is directing us to always act in love to build good relationships.
- In addition, in the Book of John 12:15, Jesus reminds us that He calls us “friends” when we act according to His teachings and the law of love. In short, offering and behaving in friendship should not end for the Christian when the church service is finished.
A Worldwide Friendship
Currently, there are over two billion Christians in the world and time in which we reside. In fact, Christianity has been recognized by some sources as the world’s largest religion. Likewise, the Bible has different versions globally available in most nations. It is produced in practically every language on Earth for people to study and learn from about many topics, including friendship. You don’t have to depend on one type of Christian Bible for your studies.
However, I used the verses from the American Standard Version for this article, but there are many options available. I reviewed other versions of the Holy Text as well during my research, as if preparing to provide a message on Sunday. When I prepare sermons, I consult several different versions of the Bible to make sure the subject is covered thoroughly in my service. If you decide to try another version of the Bible, the words of the text may communicate more easily to you; wisdom takes many shapes and forms, and the same thought can be expressed in different ways verbally or in print.
In essence, the Holy Book of the Christian religion contains some wise words and guidance for social and spiritual interactions between people and God. Perhaps, exploring these verses can enrich your life. After all, we all want to be good friends. If you find the words useful, put those verses to practice.