Image by Thomas Allsop
Image by Thomas Allsop

A True Friend

Updated: Oct 4

Walking in the world as a Christian is extremely difficult, especially nowadays with the amount of sin and worldly values that are thrown in our faces. It's not a bad thing to have non-Christian friends (I love my non-Christian friends dearly), but there is nothing like having a best friend who is going to walk with you in your walk with the Lord. John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress greatly exhibits the depth of friendship and importance of not taking your pilgrimage alone. Both Christian and Christiana have friends who take the narrow path with them, encouraging and keeping them on that path.

Proverbs 12:26 states: "The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray." Choosing your closest friends actually matters. Who we keep as our closest confidants says a lot about us. Many people associate us with the character of those whom we are associated with. This is likely because whether you realize it or not, you are influenced by who you spend the most time with. We can pick up mannerisms, habits, and even vocabulary. In fact, this is Scriptural. 1 Corinthians 15:33 says: "Do not be misled: 'Bad company corrupts good character,'" Proverbs 13:20 states: "Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm," and Proverbs 22:24-25 tells us: "Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn their ways and get yourself ensnared." We need to evaluate who we are turning to for advice and spending the most time with. Is this friend leading me closer to Christ or are they dragging me closer to the world? Am I influencing them or are they influencing me?

My best friend has traits that I admire and emulate myself. She makes me want to be the best I can be. Friends are also people we can learn from. Proverbs 27:17 states: "Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another." This verse is talking about how friends should challenge and encourage each other to grow. There is always something that can be learned from someone else, and our closest friends can offer us some godly wisdom. They see our fullest potential, and care enough to want us to be the people that God intends for us to be.

We are not meant to walk by ourselves. It's so difficult trying to run this race of life alone. If left alone and isolated, there is a higher likelihood we can fall into sin and/or lukewarmness. We are facing temptation daily, and besides renewing our minds in the Word, a way to combat that temptation is to walk with a fellow believer who will have your back and has the same love for and obedience to Christ. Our friends can provide us with the accountability we need. There is a deep level of trust, which leaves room for brutal honesty, which is done in love. Despite what the world may say, graciously and humbly being honest with a friend when they ask for your advice or you see them heading down the wrong path is loving. Proverbs 27:5-6 says the same: "Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses." Would you rather hear a pretty lie or a hard truth that will help you? If you are struggling with something in your life, a friend will pray with you and hold you accountable while you're working through that. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 discusses this: "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!" We all sin and can stumble at times, and what a blessing it is to have a helping hand who will help pull you back up and shift your eyes back to Christ to keep running the race.

Hard times and trials are a guarantee. Although we can hold to Scriptural promises and know that sanctification will ultimately lead to our good, we can get caught up in them, leading to worry and despair. Proverbs 17:17 tells us: "A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity." When we go through the hard times, we can feel like we are alone in them, but a true friend will show up and stand by you through that. Further, we need a friend during the times of joy and celebration. A best friend will celebrate your wins just as if they are their own, always cheering you on. I mean, just having your best friend a part of the exciting seasons just makes them so much better. My best friend and I talk about how we can't wait for each other to get married and to have babies, and we are praying that God lets us be in both those seasons together at the same time (lol). Even if we don't go through engagements and pregnancies at the same time, we both know the other will be just as happy and be there fevery step of the way.

The biblical example of friendship is found in 1 Samuel between David and Jonathan. GotQuestions points out three aspects of friendship we can take from David and Jonathan. First, there is an element of sacrifice. We see this in 1 Samuel 18:4 when Jonathan gave David his clothes and military garb. The significance behind this action is that Jonathan was unenviously submitting to God's will and sacrificed his own right as an heir to the throne. Second is the quality of loyalty. This is seen in 1 Samuel 19:1-3 when Jonathan rebuked his father King Saul for trying to kill David and pointed toward David's faithfulness to King Saul. Lastly, friendship includes the ability to express emotions with one another. In 1 Samuel 20, Jonathan reveals his father's plan to kill David, and the two men cried together. I mean, obviously friendship includes emotional attachment. It is only the world that distorts that, and unbiblically turns it into something it is not.

Our greatest friend is Jesus. He emulates every aspect of friendship to the highest and fullest extent. John 15:13 says: "Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends." He gave Himself for us, taking our place and being treated as we should, and in turn, we are given His righteousness. He paid our ransom, a debt that we could never pay on our own. Jesus is also our closest friend. It is the greatest comfort and despair that He knows our hearts. Despair that He knows the depth of our sins and sin nature, but also comforting that He knows that we have a heart dispositioned toward Him. Psalm 139:1-6 shares the depth of this: "O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.

You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it." He deeply knows us, better than anyone else on this Earth. He knows every aspect of our personalities, our wants and desires, and our deepest hurts. Thus, we can always turn to Him in prayer, seeking Him for the sake of communion and His company, for advice and guidance, for surrendering over your depths of sadness and worry, and/or for giving Him your joy and praise.

Proverbs 18:24 says: "A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." You may not have a bunch of friends, but you are blessed beyond measure if you have one true friend. God gave me my bestie of over a decade Nicole, and as my mom says, she's like another one of my sisters. She has seen me at my worst, and she has loved me through it. She has seen me through some of my hardest times, and has always offered encouragement. God always uses her to speak exactly whay I need to refresh my soul, to feel closer to Him, and to give me clarity. Proverbs 27:9: "A sweet friendship refreshes the soul." I mean, we literally talk to each other about just about anything. Even though she lives out of state and we may not be able to talk daily, our friendship continues to grow stronger. Do we agree on everything? Of course, not. Nevertheless, at the core of our friendship is Christ, and a desire to lead the other closer to Him. That's what sustains friendship.

Just as we want to have that true friend, we must also make sure we are being that godly friend ourselves. We should exhibit Christlikeness towards our friends, offering them grace, love, and unselfishness. Since I literally have the best best friend, I hope and pray that I can serve her as well as she does me. Take the time today to evaluate your friendships, tell your best friend how much you love and appreciate them, and be a good steward with the friends God has given you.

By: Bible and Hot Cocoa (IG: @bibleandhotcocoa)

Jules is the founder of Bible and Hot Cocoa. She is a law student with a passion for standing up for truth. In any free time, she loves to read, study theology, write, and draw or paint. Jules's favorite book of the Bible would have to be a tie among John, Psalms, Ephesians, and Romans (as of now), and her favorite figure besides Jesus is John, David, or Paul.

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