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What the Book of Proverbs Has Taught Me About Friendship

The book of Proverbs is taken into account one among the wisdom books of the Bible. Full of many clever sayings that could be applied to numerous situations throughout life, the guidance of the Proverbs teaches us to hunt wisdom. Wisdom is personified as a girl. The Lord gives wisdom (Proverbs 2:6, NIV), and He has woven it into the material of the universe. Wisdom is offered to us, and we’re commanded to hunt her out. We find wisdom after we revere the One True God. “The fear of the Lord is the start of wisdom” (Proverbs 9:10, NIV), and the rewards of living a clever life are great. “For through wisdom your days shall be many, and years shall be added to your life. If you’re clever, your wisdom will reward you” (Proverbs 9:11-12, NIV). 

Proverbs teaches us to hunt God’s wisdom, be disciplined, be humble, love others, protect our hearts, work hard, and control our words. There are also quite a few sayings in regards to the value of friendship and the best way to be a superb friend. By reading and applying these Proverbs, we will learn the best way to be a friend and the best way to select friends. It is essential to notice the difference between those we’re friendly with and our true friends. While everyone seems to be our neighbor and we should always show kindness and mercy to all, friendship is deeper. A friend is someone we trust and love on an intimate level. As we read the Proverbs to find out about what makes a superb friend, we must also consider if we’re acting out the recommendation. Am I a superb friend? Am I kind? Loyal? Patient? Do I exploit my words for good? Am I easily angered? How can I exploit the wisdom present in Proverbs to be a greater friend myself?

Words Matter

Many of the sayings in Proverbs, whether or not they are directly about friendship or not, emphasize how much words matter. We know that the best way we speak represents who we actually are. “For the mouth speaks what the center is filled with” (Luke 6:45, NIV). Therefore, the best way our friends speak shows us what is occurring of their hearts. 

Words could be helpful. “Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones” (Proverbs 16:24, NIV). Words could be hurtful. “A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid anyone who talks an excessive amount of” (Proverbs 20:19, NIV). Knowing when to restrain from using words is essential. “Whoever derides their neighbor has no sense, however the one who has understanding holds their tongue” (Proverbs 11:12, NIV).

Encouragement Matters

In searching for wisdom to guide words, a superb friend offers encouragement in our difficult times, which lightens the burden and brings joy. Proverbs 27:9 (NIV) says, “Perfume and incense bring joy to the center, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice” while Proverbs 12:25 (NIV) tells us that “Anxiety weighs down the center, but a sort word cheers it up.”

Listening Matters

There are many Proverbs that guide us on the best way to use our words for good and never for harm, but listening is even perhaps more essential to a friendship. Really hearing what friends are saying and trying to know opens the door to true relationships and the chance for encouragement or guidance as needed. “Fools find no pleasure in understanding but enjoyment of airing their very own opinions” (Proverbs 18:2, NIV).

Loyalty Matters

We may only need just a few true, deep friendships in our lives, but loyalty is very essential in those relationships. Backstabbing and unreliability don’t have any place in a friendship. Knowing that you could count on someone to be there whenever you need them is an indication of a real friendship. In fact, that sort of relationship goes beyond friendship and appears more like family. “A friend loves in any respect times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity” (Proverbs 17:17, NIV). “One who has unreliable friends soon involves spoil, but there’s a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24, NIV). 

Trustworthiness Matters

We should give you the chance to trust our friends with our thoughts and fears and stresses and dreams. When I share something from my heart with a friend, I do know that she’s going to hold it with tenderness and never tell others. I trust her to talk truth to me and tell me things which will even be hard to listen to. Trust is the backbone of relationships. “A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret” (Proverbs 11:13, NIV). 

Patience Matters

Relationships, even the closest of friends, can test our patience at times, but we want to surround ourselves with friends who don’t lose their temper easily. Having patient friends not only makes for a more enjoyable experience with them, however it also protects us from joining in negative ways. An easily angered person can quickly pull us into their anger, whereas a patient person bears with us and encourages us to have more patience ourselves. “Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, don’t associate with one easily angered, or you might learn their ways and get yourself ensnared” (Proverbs 22:24-25, NIV).

Kindness Matters

Friends are individuals who can speak the reality while still being kind. What they are saying may hurt, however it isn’t mean. A real friend’s kindness and love is not going to allow you to proceed on a path that’s dangerous or sinful. They will give you the chance to humbly listen whenever you speak truth to them as well. People who’re quick to anger don’t display the kindness needed for an honest friendship. “Wounds from a friend could be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses” (Proverbs 27:6, NIV). Kind friends look out for his or her friends and protect their relationships. “An unfriendly person pursues selfish ends and against all sound judgment starts quarrels” (Proverbs 18:1, NIV). 

Generosity Matters

We never wish to reap the benefits of a friend or wear them down, but a generous friend is a superb friend to have. Whether she is generous along with her time or other resources, she shall be refreshing to our souls and can reap a reward herself. “A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others shall be refreshed” (Proverbs 11:25. NIV).  

Lifestyle Matters

Our friends may not live the exact same way that we do, but it is crucial that they’re pursuing the trail of God’s wisdom alongside us. The more we associate with clever, godly friends, the wiser and godlier we turn into. Good friends lift up each other in fact and love.  

“Walk with the clever and turn into clever, for a companion of fools suffers harm” (Proverbs 13:20, NIV). 

Friendship Matters

Ultimately, the Book of Proverbs has taught me that friendship matters to God. We were created to be in relationships with others, and He gives us friends as a blessing in our lives. There are several examples of friendship throughout the Bible- Jesus and His disciples, David and Jonathan, Job and his friends. Friendship is a present from God and makes us higher people. “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens one other” (Proverbs 27:17, NIV). May God bless your life with good friends, and should you be a superb friend to those around you.

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