In Friendship Snippet #4, three levels of friendship were listed--those for a season, a reason, and a lifetime. Now let's address Christian friendship. In the Bible, so much is made of the importance of the right kind of friends that we're fools to treat this part of our lives lightly--and I have certainly been a fool many times over. Proverbs 12:26 says: "A righteous man is cautious in friendship, but the way of the wicked leads them astray." Meaning, an important quality to look for in a friend is how much they love and fear God. Why? Because we are more consistent in our faith when others who walk closely with God walk with and encourage us. Here are some benefits of a Christian friend:
Accountability ~ Close relationships with other believers allow for accountability on both sides. We need people who will help us see the truth about ourselves and our lives. We need the kind of relationships that don't break down when truth is spoken in love. Key here: in love.
Advice ~ We need those who will give us sound, Biblical advice and help us grow in wisdom.
Refine ~ We need those who will refine us, which brings us to Proverbs 27:17: "As iron sharpens iron, so one man--woman!--sharpens another."
Prayer ~ We need those who will pray for us in times of need.
So what about our non-Christian friends? That's for the next time. See you then.