<< Previous | Index | Next >>"THE BOOK OF PROVERBS" Wisdom Regarding Friendship INTRODUCTION 1. Living on an inhabited planet, it is impossible to avoid associations with fellow humans 2. In His all-sufficient Word, God has provided the wisdom necessary whereby we can... a. Develop good relations with those around us b. Avoid the pitfalls that too often destroy good friendships [A good portion of this wisdom is found in Proverbs, where much is revealed regarding the subject of friendships. For example, note what is revealed about...] I. THE VALUE OF FRIENDS A. SOURCE OF COMFORT... 1. In good times and in bad times - Pr 17:17 2. In some cases, even better than that provided by a brother - Pr 18:24b B. SOURCE OF GOOD COUNSEL... 1. Counsel that can "delight the heart" - Pr 27:9 2. The value of counsel in general is seen in Pr 11:14 [A friend who offers comfort and can be trusted to provide good counsel is certainly a blessing. But we must choose our friends carefully (Pro 12:26). Consider therefore, some advice on...] II. THE CHOICE OF FRIENDS A. FRIENDS YOU DO NOT WANT... 1. Gossips - Pr 20:19 2. Short-tempered - Pr 22:24-25 3. Those given to drinking and gluttony - Pr 23:20-21 4. Those given to change - Pr 24:21-22 5. Liars, those untrustworthy, and those inconsiderate - Pr 25: 18-20 6. Those given to violence - Pr 1:10-19 B. FRIENDS YOU DO WANT... 1. Those who display wisdom themselves - Pr 13:20 2. For their teaching (counsel) will help lead you in the right way - cf. Pr 13:14 [The wrong kind of friends can be a corrupting influence (cf. 1Co 15:33), but a friend who is good and wise is one you want to hold on to! To avoid losing good friends, here is some wisdom on...] III. MAINTAINING FRIENDSHIPS A. THINGS WHICH DISRUPT FRIENDSHIPS... 1. Repeating everything you hear - Pr 17:9 2. Getting into senseless arguments - Pr 17:14 3. Overstaying your welcome - Pr 25:17 4. Meddling in affairs not your own - Pr 26:17 5. Playing bad jokes - Pr 26:18-19 6. Being a "talebearer" - Pr 26:20 7. Being contentious - Pr 26:21 8. Engaging in insincere flattery - Pr 27:14 [Following such advice, one is less likely to offend his or her friends. But sometimes we do, and regaining their confidence is not easy (cf. Pr 18:19). What can be done? Consider...] B. SOLVING PROBLEMS WITH OUR FRIENDS... 1. Make sure that you are at peace with the Lord - cf. Pr 16:7 2. Be slow to anger - Pr 15:18; cf. Jm 1:19-20 3. Be slow to respond - Pr 18:13 4. Avoid quarreling - Pr 20:3 5. Speak gently - Pr 15:1 6. Speak briefly - Pr 10:19 7. Be quick to show love - Pr 10:12 8. But if necessary, rebuke rather than flatter - Pr 28:23 CONCLUSION 1. Properly applying the wisdom of God found in His Word can assure that... a. We enjoy the blessings of good friends in this life b. We can look forward to enjoying these dear friends in life eternal! 2. Rather than depend upon "trial and error" to learn "how to win friends and influence people", let God's Word be your guide! But of all the friendships we could possible develop, none can excel the one we can have with Him who truly "sticks closer than a brother" - our Lord Jesus Christ! Have you become His friend? Consider what He has done for us... "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends." (Jn 15:13) Consider what He asks of us... "You are My friends if you do whatever I command you." (Jn 15:14) Have you done what He commands? - cf. Mt 28:18-20; Mk 16:15-16<< Previous | Index | Next >>
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