Friendship is vital to the Christian life. What does the Bible say about friendship, then? It has a lot to say, actually! Much more than is even below. But if you are wanting an idea of what the Bible says about friendship, the verses below are a great place to start.
Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. When Moses turned again into the camp, his assistant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent.
But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.
1 Samuel 18:1-3
As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. And Saul took him that day and would not let him return to his father’s house. Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul.
1 Samuel 20:17
And Jonathan made David swear again by his love for him, for he loved him as he loved his own soul.
1 Samuel 20:42
Then Jonathan said to David, ‘Go in peace, because we have sworn both of us in the name of the Lord, saying, ‘The Lord shall be between me and you, and between my offspring and your offspring, forever.’ And he rose and departed, and Jonathan went into the city.
2 Samuel 1:16
I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan; very pleasant have you been to me; your love to me was extraordinary, surpassing the love of women.
2 Kings 2:2
And Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Please stay here, for the LORD has sent me as far as Bethel.’ But Elisha said, ‘As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.’ So they went down to Bethel.
Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this evil that had come upon him, they came each from his own place, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. They made an appointment together to come to show him sympathy and comfort him. And when they saw him from a distance, they did not recognize him. And they raised their voices and wept, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads toward heaven. And they sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was very great.
He who withholds kindness from a friend forsakes the fear of the Almighty.
My friends scorn me;
my eye pours out tears to God,
that he would argue the case of a man with God,
as a son of man does with his neighbor.
Oh, that I were as in the months of old,
as in the days when God watched over me,
when his lamp shone upon my head,
and by his light I walked through darkness,
as I was in my prime,
when the friendship of God was upon my tent,
when the Almighty was yet with me,
when my children were all around me,
when my steps were washed with butter,
and the rock poured out for me streams of oil!
And the LORD restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends. And the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.
Even my close friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me.
For it is not an enemy who taunts me— then I could bear it; it is not an adversary who deals insolently with me— then I could hide from him. But it is you, a man, my equal, my companion, my familiar friend. We used to take sweet counsel together; within God’s house we walked in the throng.
Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!
Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.
Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.
When a man’s ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.
A dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends.
Whoever covers an offense seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Many a man proclaims his own steadfast love, but a faithful man who can find?
He who loves purity of heart, and whose speech is gracious, will have the king as his friend.
Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man, lest you learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare.
Let your foot be seldom in your neighbor’s house, lest he have his fill of you and hate you.
Trusting in a treacherous man in time of trouble is like a bad tooth or a foot that slips.
Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.
Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.
Do not forsake your friend and your father’s friend, and do not go to your brother’s house in the day of your calamity. Better is a neighbor who is near than a brother who is far away.
Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!
And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.”
This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.
That is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.
Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
1 Corinthians 15:33
Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company ruins good morals.’
Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy,
Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
1 Thessalonians 5:11
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
2 Timothy 1:2-4
To Timothy, my beloved child: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy.
2 Timothy 4:16
At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me. May it not be charged against them!
And the Scripture was fulfilled that says, ‘Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness’—and he was called a friend of God.
You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
1 Peter 4:8–11
Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
1 John 4:7
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.
1 John 4:21
And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.
by John Perkins with Karen Waddles
What if friendship is the key to changing the world? As a follow-up to his landmark work One Blood, Dr. John Perkins helps readers take...
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