Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Authentic Friendship

Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy. (Proverbs 27:6 NLT)

One trait of friendship with people and with God is that true friends will tell each other the truth. That’s a mark of friendship.

When you’re uncomfortable with someone, when you don’t know them that well, you don’t really want to say what you’re thinking. Maybe you just bought a new outfit that you’re not sure about. So, you say to your friend, “Hey, what do you think?”

Someone who doesn’t really care about you will say, “It looks great! Now let’s go!”

But a true friend will say, “Honestly, you look like a fool. You need to return that.”

The Bible says, “Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy” (Proverbs 27:6 NLT).

An enemy will flatter you and tell you to your face that you’re great and that everything is wonderful. But behind your back, the same person will cut you down.

As Oscar Wilde said, “A true friend always stabs you in the front.”

True friends will say, “Because I love you, because I care about you, I must share this with you. I think you’re making a mistake. I don’t think you should do this.” Because your friends care about you, they will tell you the truth.

That is why we want to look for godly friends. You cannot control your environment at all times. You cannot always control who your neighbors will be or who your coworkers will be. But you can decide who your friends will be.

We must give serious consideration to the people we spend our free time with, the people we bare our hearts to. It’s important to look for others who love God and will encourage us spiritually.

The apostle Paul warned, “Bad company corrupts good character” (1 Corinthians 15:33 NLT). You will be influenced by the people you hang around. And they will be influenced by you.

Paul also wrote, “Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts” (2 Timothy 2:22 NLT).

Look for friends who love the Lord. Look for people who will encourage you in your commitment to Christ. And if you’re presently engaged in a friendship, or even worse, in a romantic entanglement, that is dragging you down spiritually and is detrimental to your walk with God, then it’s time to sever it.

Look for people who will encourage you in the things of the Lord. And be a person who will encourage others in the things of the Lord as well.

Sadly, people will disappoint. People will let us down. But we have a friend who never will betray our confidence. We have a friend to whom we can bare our secrets and who also will declare His secrets to us. We have the ultimate friend in Jesus Christ.

Yes, He wants to be your God. Yes, He wants to be your Savior and Lord. But don’t forget that He also wants to be your friend.

Copyright © 2023 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.

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