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Ask Donnell: What Is The Will Of God Concerning Friendships?

Ask Donnell: What Is The Will Of God Concerning Friendships?

We received the following question from Jamie;

"I gave up a few of my friends for a bit but I was kind of testing them. Will not do it again though. Anyway, now I feel like I am in a kind of Job period. You know the feeling of being around people but at the same time feeling alone? What is The Will of GOD concerning friendships?

Jamie, you have asked some fabulous questions. We know you submitted several but we'll just address this one today and get to the others at another time. After talking things over with my wife, digging through the scriptures and hearing from The Lord I have found some interesting answers. I'll start by saying I do understand how it's possible to feel alone while being around people. The truth is that the only way you won't feel alone is through authentic relationships. Having people around is not the same as having authentic relationships.

Before we get into any specifics let's establish that there are different types of friendships which need to be clearly delineated. For this discussion I'll use the following four broad categories; comrades, constituents, companions and confidantes.

Comrades - You hate the same thing or you have a common enemy. Examples of comrades are fellow soldiers in an army or activists against a particular injustice!

Constituents - You care about the same thing or you have a common interest. Examples of constituents are fellow members of a club or volunteers at a non-profit.

Companions - You happen to be doing the same thing. Examples are coworkers.

Confidantes - You care about each other. These are true friends.

You have to figure out which type of friends you have. The first three types of friendships are temporary or seasonal. One of the biggest mistakes people make is placing the wrong type of friend in the wrong position in their lives. For example, you don't marry a comrade. Why? As soon as your common enemy is defeated you will turn on each other. You don't develop a serious relationship with a companion. Why? If you ever stop doing the same thing your relationship is over. You don't pledge your life to a constituent. Why? When the thing that you're both interested in is over you don't have a relationship. Also, he's not into you, he's just into what you do. Hence, if someone else comes along who seems to do it better, he's gone. His commitment was never really to you in the first place.

What is the will of GOD, concerning friendships?

1) Your closest friends should be serious Christians.

Proverbs 13:20(KJV) - He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.

Psalm 14:1(KJV) - The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.

1 Corinthians 15:33(NKJV) - Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.”

You can't be a Christian yet you choose to have the most intimate relationships with people who don't believe in God. If your best friend is an atheist, The Bible says your best friend is a fool and if your best friend is a fool you will be destroyed. Case closed! 🙂 Additionally, you can't hang around evil people consistently and not expect them to rub off on you. People do it all the time thinking they will change the evil people but end up being changed themselves. Even if you have good habits, evil company will corrupt them.

2 Corinthians 6:14-18(NLT) - Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? What harmony can there be between Christ and the devil? How can a believer be a partner with an unbeliever? And what union can there be between God’s temple and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God said: “I will live in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people. Therefore, come out from among unbelievers, and separate yourselves from them, says the Lord. Don’t touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you. And I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”

The first thing you need to know is that anyone can be your comrade, constituent or companion but the position of confidante is reserved for someone who believes like you do. You don't bare your soul to an unsaved person. That's not wisdom. People who have no relationship with God don't hear from God so they will advise you solely according to the human wisdom and many times that's not enough. Psalms 1:1(NKJV) says, "Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;"

You can have unsaved "friends" as long as they remain comrades, constituents or even companions. They are still "friends" but you don't want to go against Godly wisdom and bring them into intimate relationships. Some people say Jesus was a friend of sinners so that justifies ungodly relationships but they are missing the point of Matthew 11:19 and Luke 7:34. In those passages, the term "a friend of publicans and sinners" was meant as an insult against Jesus and was not something He personally embraced because if He did He would also have embraced the terms, gluttonous and "winebibber". In John 15:14-15 He outlined who His friends were. He conferred the title of friends to His disciples who followed His commandments.

Jesus was not naive. He loved people but He did not trust people easily. John 2:24-25(AMP) says; "But Jesus [for His part] did not trust Himself to them, because He knew all [men]; And He did not need anyone to bear witness concerning man [needed no evidence from anyone about men], for He Himself knew what was in human nature. [He could read men’s hearts.]" Only once did Jesus bare His heart to anyone. He never showed internal weakness to people until He was in the Garden of Gethsemane when He became vulnerable before only three men He knew He could trust; Peter, James and John.

Mark 14:32-34(NLT) - They went to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and Jesus said, “Sit here while I go and pray.” He took Peter, James, and John with him, and he became deeply troubled and distressed. He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”

Jesus was our perfect example. He picked His friends, His friends did not pick Him. He had a bunch of followers but He personally selected each of His disciples. Even then, they weren't all confidantes. Judas was a companion. Some of the other guys were constituents but only Peter, James and John were confidantes because He only showed deep vulnerability before them. Granted, Jesus was physically vulnerable on the way to the cross but it was in Gethsemane that He showed any emotional vulnerability.

2) If you're going to have true friends you're going to have to be friendly. Unfriendly people won't have true friends.

Proverbs 18:24(NKJV) - A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

3) True friends make each other better. You sharpen each other.

Proverbs 27:17(NLT) - As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.

4) True friends see eye to eye on issues. Agreement means that even if you have different opinions you know how to work them out so that together you can move forward.

Amos 3:3(KJV) - Can two walk together, except they be agreed?

5) True friends help each other and make each other stronger.

Ecclesiastes 4:7-12(MSG) - I turned my head and saw yet another wisp of smoke on its way to nothingness: a solitary person, completely alone—no children, no family, no friends—yet working obsessively late into the night, compulsively greedy for more and more, never bothering to ask, “Why am I working like a dog, never having any fun? And who cares?” More smoke. A bad business. It’s better to have a partner than go it alone. Share the work, share the wealth. And if one falls down, the other helps, But if there’s no one to help, tough! Two in a bed warm each other. Alone, you shiver all night. By yourself you’re unprotected. With a friend you can face the worst. Can you round up a third? A three-stranded rope isn’t easily snapped.

6) God will help you find friends.

He said in Genesis 2:18 that it is not good for man to be alone so because He does not want you to be alone He will put people around you. That's one reason why God established The Body of Christ. We need to become connected to a local church where there are people sent by God to befriend us. It is your job to open up and accept them. God presented Eve to Adam and he made his move, God didn't force them to establish a relationship.

Psalm 68:6(NKJV) - God sets the solitary in families; He brings out those who are bound into prosperity; But the rebellious dwell in a dry land.

7) Jesus is your best friend. Nobody will ever be as good a friend to you as He will.

John 15:13-14(KJV) Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

In sum, you have to be connected in a very personal way for someone to be a true friend. Outside of that you'll always feel alone. Nonetheless, let's start answering those questions. We'll see what The Bible says and that's what we should stick to. If The Bible says something and you do the direct opposite don't expect to see good results. People do it all the time and act surprised when things don't work out. They shouldn't be.

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