On the first Sunday in August, we celebrate Friendship Day as a time to recognize our friends and their contribution to our life. It was declared as a holiday in the U.S. in honor of friends by a Proclamation made by U.S. Congress in 1935. And we celebrate our friends by giving them cards and flowers to honor them. But what does the bible say about being a true friend? There is an example of true friendship in 1 Samuel 18-20 between David and King Saul’s son, Jonathan. Saul pursued David many times trying to kill him and Jonathan stood by his friend by helping him get away.
The book of Proverbs gives many examples of friendship. Proverbs 18:24 says, “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” And Proverbs 27:6 also says,” Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses,” which means that in order to have a friend, you must be a friend first. True friends should be of like mind. You should be able to be yourself with this person and not someone else. And true friends also shouldn’t put another down or judge one another. You should also be able to talk and confide in one another and trust that your friend would keep it in confidence and not tell the whole world. A friend is also someone you should respect and respect you and jealousy should never become a factor. Jesus Christ gave us the definition of a true friend in John 15:13-15, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”
Jesus Christ is the ultimate friend because he died for us, “his friends,” so we may have eternal life with God. And if you believe in Him and except him in your heart, his friendship will surpass all others and will never come and go. The Apostle Paul says, “For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:7-8) This is the real bible-based definition of a true friend. And if all else fails, always remember you have a true friend in Jesus!