There are dozens of Bible verses for friendship that teach us how to find good friends and how to be a good friend.

Scripture lays out the example of Christ as He walked on the earth as a man, as well as many believers who exemplified Jesus’ sacrificial love for others and God’s explicit commands for us regarding friendships.

God’s word is the best place to find relational advice because God is the one who most faithfully comforts, encourages, and cares for us. Let’s look at these Bible verses for friendship to see how we too can better love our friends.

Proverbs 18:24

A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24

Family members have intrinsic loyalty to family members. You’ve heard, “blood is thicker than water.” But this verse tells us it is possible for friendship that goes even beyond that of our family relationships.

This friend sticks closer than even a brother. Find these friends and do all that is possible to pour into these relationships. They are irreplaceable.

Luke 6:31

And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise (Luke 6:31).

Many who don’t even follow Jesus could rattle off this golden rule. However, to follow this command in day to day life is another story.

During work and rest, need and plenty, we are all called to treat others the way we want to be treated. When we don’t know what to say or do, we can ask ourselves what would be a blessing to us if the tables reversed.

Proverbs 13:20

He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed (Proverbs 13:20

What’s one of the fundamental secrets to gaining wisdom? Spend time with those who are wise.

Whether for ill or good, companions will have a strong influence on us. Choose wise friends and in doing so we will set the trajectory for our own decisions and character.

Colossians 3:12-14

Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection (Colossians 3:12-14).

We are God’s children, and the greatest attribute we can walk in is love, particularly love that is expressed in forgiveness. Forgiveness manifests itself in mercy, kindness, humility, and patience.

We are being like Jesus when we love our friends in these ways. This lifestyle is consistent with the new identity of those whose lives have been transformed by Jesus.

Proverbs 27:5-6

Open rebuke is better than love carefully concealed. Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful (Proverbs 27:5-6).

The honest words of a friend, though they may initially sting, are intended for our benefit and come from a heart of deep affection. Even if they are hard to receive in the moment time will allow us to see their wisdom.

We will become grateful for the insight of one who loves us so much that they’d make themselves uncomfortable to confront an area of sin, error, or foolishness in our lives.

Proverbs 17:17

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity (Proverbs 17:17).

Jesus lived a perfect life, died on the cross for our sins, and rose from the dead in victory over sin and death. He is the only one who truly loves us at all times.

An indicator of a good friend is unwavering love. Good friends love us in spite of our weaknesses. They love through the hardships we endure and the challenges we face. They love at all times, mirroring God’s perfect love toward us.

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Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)

Instead of selfishly, jealously striving to get ahead on one’s own, a wise man will see the benefit of cooperation.

There is great benefit when we use our God-given gifts together. We are like varying parts of the body, each contributing to the success of the whole.

This verse promises us that two have a better reward for their work. In the moments where we are weak, God uniquely uses friends in our lives. And the opposite is true as well. He uses us in the lives of those around us when they are in need.

John 15:13

Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends (John 15:13)

The mark of great love is sacrifice. This is evidenced by God’s incomparable love in which he gave his Son to die as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

If we want to be a good friend, we must be willing to sacrifice time, money, gifts, and energy. To recognize the most genuine friends, look for those who are willing to sacrifice those things for us when we have nothing to give in return.

Ecclesiastes 4:12

Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken (Ecclesiastes 4:12).

There is great strength in numbers. There is a greater chance for success when one is not struggling alone. One or even two may be easily overpowered, but together strength increases exponentially.

Think of the strength of a single piece of twine as opposed to the strength of three cords of twine intertwined. That is the power of walking the Christian life in close fellowship with other believers.

Philippians 2:4

Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others (Philippians 2:4).

God tells us not to primarily be concerned with our own needs and wants, but to take our eyes off of ourselves and see the needs of others.

Though it is counterintuitive, we are to have the same level of concern for others as we do for ourselves.

After the above verses, Paul proceeds to give us the example of this selfless love: Jesus. If we follow God’s word in this way, we will be guaranteed to love others well.

Proverbs 27:17

As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend (Proverbs 27:17).

Two pieces of iron are used to sharpen each other. Left to themselves, each would become more dull over time.

This picture of iron sharpening iron represents the importance of community in the lives of believers. Here God clearly tells us that our relationships with one another improve our Christian life and enable us to bring more glory to Him.

1 Corinthians 15:33

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

Scripture tells us that you will become like your friends. For better or worse they will rub off on you. If we want to know the Lord and become more like him we must surround ourselves by friends who desire the same things. If we don’t, we will desire the things of the world that inevitably lead to ruin.

The Blessing of Friendship

These Bible verses for friendship remind us what a gift good, Godly friends are.

True friends encourage us when we’re weak, give us great joy, and help us to love God more fully. True friends are a rare treasure, a blessing from God.

If you have one or two real, Biblical friends, give thanks to God. Very few people are in your position. Most people are desperate for true friends but don’t know where to find them. Thank God for blessing you with such good friends.

If you don’t have any Biblical friends, ask God to bring some into your life. He doesn’t want you to have to walk alone. He wants you to have people in your life who will “sharpen” you and lift you when you fall. Pray that the Lord connects you with true friends and then start keeping an eye out for them.

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