Seekers is a podcast focused on answering common life questions through the infinite wisdom of God’s living word – The Holy Bible.
The word friend is used often to describe a whole host of people. From someone you barely know from work or school, to the person you’ve seen daily for decades. There’s the friend you tell little about your life to for fear of embarrassment or judgement, and then there’s the friend you’ve completely come undone in front of time and time again.
Sometimes old friends let you down, and new friends surprise you with a selfless loving gesture. Time can’t accurately reflect the character of a friend. But maybe space can?
One of the best litmus tests for a friend I’ve heard is this – would you spend a full day with the person in a compact car on a cross country road trip? I’ve got great friends that I’m not sure would pass that test, and sadly I’m sure the feeling would be mutual among them as well!
So how do we figure out who’s a true friend and who is not? What characteristics make up a true friend? The bible offers clear direction on the topic, and in this episode of Seekers we’re going to find out what the word of God says on the matter. Let’s pray.
God, you are holy and your Word is powerful. Your word is true. And we know it is the living word Father, one that is applicable to our everyday life. God please use this podcast to reach someone dealing with this today, and shape their lives as you’d have them to be. In Jesus name. Amen.
A True Friend Makes The Other Better
17 Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.
This is doubly inspiring. First, and the obviously, a true friend will make you a better person. When I think of sharpening iron I think of the crispness of the object taking shape as one piece of iron sharpens another.
No two people are exactly alike, so it is safe to assume a true friend will impart their unique God-given wisdom and gifts to the other as the friendship grows.
Finally, and maybe most importantly, a true friend won’t bring you down. The friend won’t make you a worse person, or even less exciting, after all it doesn’t say iron dulleth iron!
A True Friend Petitions For The Other
In the bible King Saul wanted to kill David out of jealousy. Saul’s son Jonathan, a good friend of David’s, petitioned for him to his father.
1 Samuel 19:4-7
4 And Jonathan spake good of David unto Saul his father, and said unto him, Let not the king sin against his servant, against David; because he hath not sinned against thee, and because his works have been to thee-ward very good:
5 For he did put his life in his hand, and slew the Philistine, and the Lord wrought a great salvation for all Israel: thou sawest it, and didst rejoice: wherefore then wilt thou sin against innocent blood, to slay David without a cause?
6 And Saul hearkened unto the voice of Jonathan: and Saul sware, As the Lord liveth, he shall not be slain.
7 And Jonathan called David, and Jonathan shewed him all those things. And Jonathan brought David to Saul, and he was in his presence, as in times past.
Anyone that’s had to arduous task of trying to change their parent’s mind on something they’re well set on knows this is not easy.
True Friends are Likeminded
Can two walk together, except they be agreed?
While opposites may attract, and our differences do make us who we are, our core beliefs have to be aligned to have a true friend. If friendship is based upon some level of trust – and if you don’t agree with that assumption than ask yourself how much time you’d want to spend around someone you don’t trust? Like Mindedness comes from a shared set of values. A shared belief system. And yes, a trust in one and other. If I believe it is morally unacceptable to lie, and you don’t, then how can we agree on much of anything? You’ve already told me you are OK with lying, and thus what can I understand to be true from you?
A true friend is like minded in a fashion that you can trust them. No they aren’t carbon copies of ourselves, they’re unique in many ways, but deep down they believe in the same things we believe. This allows for friendship to deepen.
So in the bible we are taught that true friends make us better, petition for us, and are like minded when it comes to core values. Take your best friends, and put them through this test. How do they come out? Are they the type that would petition on your behalf, even when it’s uncomfortable for them? Are they the type that make you a better person instead of bringing you down to a lower level? And are they likeminded in their values, are they the type of person that you can trust?
It’s great to have good Godly friends. And it’s best to have the most true friend of all, Jesus. He makes us better people for spending time with Him. He petitions for us before the Father for our need, and he is the source of our good values and the good in our minds.
But it doesn’t stop there. Jesus offered what the bible calls the greatest love of all.
13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
And here we see Jesus doing just that.
7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
God help us have true friends, and help us value them as You would want us to. And above all else Lord, let us come to know, serve, and love our truest friend of all, Jesus Christ. In His name we pray, amen.