by Elise Keim
Friends are one of the most significant things in life. As C. S. Lewis said, “Friendship is the means by which God reveals to us the beauties of others.”
The Bible talks quite a bit about friendship, including how to be a good friend and how friends impact us. They are so important that even Jesus had friends while He was here on earth: His disciples.
As we journey through life, friends are vital. Because of this, we need to have a sound understanding of what the Bible tells us about them.
Proverbs 27:17 states, “As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” When iron is rubbed against another piece of iron, it creates friction. That friction eventually makes both pieces extremely sharp and/or smooth. This is a perfect example of how friends impact us. It is important that we associate with Christian friends instead of unbelievers because whomever you spend the most time with is who you will become like.
This is true for me. My closest friends and I all have similar vocabulary. When I think about it, it has to have something to do with us spending time with each other. I am sure in some way, major or minor, we are all like our friends. Therefore, if you hang out with people who are not Christians and have some bad habits, like bad language, you will probably become like them, finding their vocabulary slipping into yours.
My second and favorite verse about friendship is “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13). How many of you would actually do that? Lose your life for your friends?
Let me put it this way. Imagine if you were in Nazi Germany during World War II. A soldier marches up to one of your best friends and tells him or her that they have to be transported to one of the concentration camps, which is basically a death trap. What would you do?
In my personal opinion, you have two options: to either ignore the whole situation or run over and beg the soldier to take you instead. If you are the person God wants you to be, you will beg the guard to let you take your friend’s place.
That is one example, but the best example of sacrificial love like this is Jesus himself. He left heaven and came to this sin-filled world to die for sinners, like you and me, so He could spend eternity with us. Think about that for a minute. This sacrificial love is the greatest love.
Friends should build each other up. If you have Christian friends, as they sharpen you “as iron sharpens iron,” you will grow closer to the Lord and closer to your friend as well. Of course, not every one of us will have to lay down our life for our friends, but we still need to have that kind of sacrificial love as Christ had for us. It may be hard to love certain people, but with God’s help, everything is possible.
So, if you need a good friend, pray that God will bring the right person into your life. If you already have that good friend, pray for them and try to show unconditional love to them. Treasure the friendships you have. They are vital.
Elise Keim is in ninth grade and enjoys writing, reading, and baking.