Facts About Forming Friendships

Title: Facts About Forming Friendships

Bible Book: Proverbs 18 : 24

Author: Donnie L. Martin

Subject: Friendships; Relationships



You may wonder why this preacher would choose a topic like friendship. “What does friendship have to do with the church, and following the Lord?” you might ask. Well, quite truthfully, the Bible has quite a lot to say about being a friend to others. And, when you think about it, if any group of people within modern-day society should be friendly, it should be Christians; those who have been befriended by God through the person of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus once said to His disciples, “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you” (John 15:14-15).

What is a friend? The dictionary defines the term this way:

1 a person whom one knows well and is fond of; intimate associate; close acquaintance 2 a person on the same side in a struggle; one who is not an enemy or foe; ally 3 a supporter or sympathizer…4 something thought of as like a friend in being helpful, reliable, etc…[1]

Obviously, a friend is not someone with whom a person is merely acquainted. They are someone with whom a person shares things in common, and with whom one feels comfortable. They are someone with whom a person can divulge private information to without fear of everyone else hearing about it. Though a friend is a supporter and sympathizer, they will tell a person the truth about themselves when they need to hear it. Friends help one another and can rely on one another.

One is not likely to be intimate friends with everyone. However, being friendly with most people is within one’s grasp. This should be especially important to us as we look toward entering a new facility. It will be up the members of this church to make visitors in our midst feel welcome and comfortable here. We may even have to go out of our way to do so. That friendliness must be genuine, never fake; and we must do so for the glory of God, and the good of the church. Consider the following thoughts with me.

Theme: In order to form friendships, we need to know...


A. Forming Friendships Requires One to be Amiable.

Prov. 18:24a “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly…”

Friendship is somewhat like your bank account: You cannot get anything out of it if you do not put anything into it. With this thought in mind, one should not wait for the other person to make their contribution to the potential friendship. This may require one to step outside their comfort zone. However, one way to break the ice with a potential friend is to extend your hand, look them right in the eye, smile, and say, “Hi, how are you today? I’m glad to meet you.”

Every person that walks through these church doors ought to sense the love, concern, and friendship that is here. We ought to greet folks that visit our services with a handshake and a smile, as well as eye contact that lets them know they are welcome. We ought to do that no matter what kind of clothes they are wearing, or the color of their skin. One man has summed up just how friendly church folk ought to be to visitors with the following: “Nothing in the world is friendlier than a wet dog.”[2]

Being friendly to visitors will take some effort, but it is worth it. Someone has said, “Some people make enemies instead of friends because it is less trouble.”[3]

B. Friends Should Share a Mutual Affection.

1. Jonathan’s special fondness for David was evident.

1 Sam. 18:1 “And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.”

2. David spoke fondly of his friend Jonathan with this eulogy.

2 Sam. 1:26 “I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women.”

Affection for a true friend is like this: A small boy defined a friend as "Someone who knows all about you and likes you just the same."[4]

C. Friends Should Share a Mutual Acceptance and Allegiance.

Prov. 17:9 “He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends. ... 17 A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”

Proverbs 17:9 says in essence, that friends do not go around broadcasting one another’s faults, or sharing one another’s sensitive or private matters with others who do not need to know it. A real friend will not run you down behind your back. They are people you can confide in, and never worry about them telling someone else.

Proverbs 17:17 reveals the fact that friends are loyal to one another. A true friend is a friend as much when things are bad as they are when things are good. They are there when you need them.

Would it not be wonderful if all God’s children would learn to be true friends, and stop criticizing each other? You never help a Christian brother or sister correct a flaw by pointing out those flaws to others who cannot help the situation. Concerning true friendship, someone has noted the following:

Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts, nor measure words, but to pour them all out just as they are, chaff and grain together knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then, with the breath of kindness blow the rest away.[5]


A. There Should be Mutual Support.

Eccl. 4:9 “Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor.

10 For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.”

Rom. 15:1 “We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.

2 Let every one of us please his neighbor for his good to edification.”

Gal. 6:2 “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”

B. There Should be Mutual Sharing.

Prov. 27:6 “ Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. ... Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel. ... 17 Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.”

Friends ought to be able to be open and vulnerable with one another. They can assist one another in the struggles of life by giving counsel (Prov. 27:9) or constructive criticism (Prov. 27:6, 17). There should be a general openness between friends.

C. There Should be Mutual Sympathy.

Job 6:14a “To him that is afflicted pity should be showed from his friends…”

Prov. 17:17b “…a brother is born for adversity.”

Rom. 12:15 “Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.”

Heb. 13:3 “Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.”

When a person’s friend feels wounded in some way, they feel with them and for them. Aristotle once said, “Friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies.”[6]


A. Jesus Proved His Friendship by His Sacrifice for Us.

John 10:15b “…I lay down my life for the sheep.”

John 15:13 “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

B. Jesus Proves His Friendship by His Standing with Us.

Matt. 28:20b “…lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”

Heb. 13:5b “…I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”

Proverbs 18:24 told us that, “…there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” That Friend is Jesus. Jesus will stand with you when nobody else will. Though He will never condone your wrong, He will still be your best friend, even when you are dead wrong.

A British publication once offered a prize for the best definition of a friend. Among the thousands of answers received were the following:

"One who multiplies joys, divides grief, and whose honesty is inviolable."

"One who understands our silence."

"A volume of sympathy bound in cloth."

"A watch that beats true for all time and never runs down."

The winning definition read: "A friend is the one who comes in when the whole world has gone out."[7]

C. Jesus Proves His Friendship by His Speaking for Us.

1 John 2:2 “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:”

D. We Can Prove our Friendship with Christ by Submission to Him.

John 15:14 “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.”

James 4:4 “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.”Theme: In order to form friendships, we need to know…THE REQUIREMENTS OF FRIENDSHIP

Copyright © August 1991 by Rev. Donnie L. Martin. All rights reserved.

[1] Webster’s New World Dictionary of American English, eds. Victoria Neufeldt and David B. Guralnik, (New York, NY: Webster’s New Word Dictionaries, A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., n.d.), p. 540.

[2] Dan Bennett, Bits & Pieces, April 28, 1994, p. 5.

[3] E.C. McKenzie.

[4] Author unknown.

[5] George Eliot, quoted in Today in the Word, July 1989, p. 28.

[6] Aristotle.

[7] Bits & Pieces, July 1991.

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