While mankind was created to be in communion with God and others, it is our interactions with friends we find to be the most gratifying of relationships. Often, it is our friends who really know us, who we share the most intimate of details with, and who know our greatest successes and flaws. True friendship goes beyond sharing a common history and common interest. We see through these verses in Proverbs the importance of the company we keep and of their ability to influence us. We see descriptions of who a true friend is, and how we can be a true friend to others. True friends run to help in times of distress. They are present through the joyous times and the lonely times. They share one another's burdens. They spur each other on in righteousness. They edify through encouragement and are not afraid to rebuke one another when needed. A true friend is involved in the life of another such that their presence and speech are a source of healing.
- When have you been led into danger and/or been lead into wisdom by your peers? Who influences your thoughts and behaviors now?
- How does biblical friendship differ from culture-defined friendship?
- Who do you turn to in times of adversity?
- Consider a time when you’ve rebuked the actions of a friend. What were your motivations and how was such critique received?
- How do you respond to the rebuke of a friend or spouse? How should you?
- What conversations are you avoiding with others because they’re uncomfortable?