Dexter is a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ who finds joy in helping others succeed.
Throughout my life, I have discovered and rediscovered a simple truth. Your ability to forge good relationships, to understand human nature, and to be a good friend is the key to great success, status, fulfillment, satisfaction, respect, and happiness in life.
For the longest time, I believed that if decent people worked hard and long enough at their friendships, success would come eventually.
I looked at other people and thought, "Wow, these two are going to be friends forever."
But as I grew older, I realized that's not necessarily the case. Some persons who worked hard at keeping their relationships are still friends, others are doing fine, but the majority; (90 percent) have drifted along, unsure of what to do, and have even ended their friendships.
I then realized that success in friendship is more than just having a mutual relationship, whether with someone you share a common interest, someone you grew up with, someone you know very well, or someone you just met. There's more at play than just a mutual relationship.
Here are seven reasons why you might not be finding success with your friendships even if you're a nice person and have been working very hard at it:
"The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray."
The need to be selective is vital. For this reason, and perhaps more than ever before, your ability to identify your most important values; and then to look and see if these values are present in the person or persons you want to befriend is crucial to forge long-term friendships.
As Proverbs 12:26 says, "The righteous choose their friends carefully." If you develop this habit, by making sure you identify those values most important to you and befriending persons who share these values, your friendships will stand a better chance at surviving.
"Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?"
Agreement in relationships is a chief cornerstone for stability. Now, this does not mean you agree with each other on everything, but it means you find a way to agree on most things, especially those things that are important to both of you. Lack of agreement engenders loneliness and frustration, and another reason why so many friendships fail. As Amos 3:3 puts it, "Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?" This means you will not enjoy each other company, grow together, build together, and succeed together unless both parties agree.
"A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity."
Love has a soothing effect on lives; whether it's our pets, spouse, relatives, or in this case, friends, love is incredible. It stimulates our creativity, releases our energy, and helps us overcome the many setbacks of life. But when this powerful four-letter word is absent, friendships can become cold very quickly and eventually come to a bitter end. To maintain a healthy relationship, as Proverbs 17:17 says, A friend loveth at all times," you must love at all times.
"Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses."
One of the top goals in any relationship is to get the best out of each other. However, in friendships, we sometimes turn a blind eye to our friends' wrongdoings, and we refuse to rebuke and correct them. Needless to say—this kind of tolerance always leads to a toxic friendship which invariably comes to a sour end. Rebuke and correction is a sign of a good relationship, and it's better to call out our friends when they are wrong than allowing them to go down the wrong path, which will eventually backfire on the friendship.
"A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends."
Even best friends, or as Proverbs 16:28 puts it, close friends are separated due to gossip. After all, It's a painful ordeal knowing that someone you've shared treasured moments and trust to keep your secrets is spreading rumors about you. There's nothing more sickening to a friendship than gossip; it's a betrayal of trust and an open stab in the back. I'd recommend not to become friends with anyone who gossips.
"One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother."
Recent research shows that negative social interactions can lead to increased inflammation within the body. Which then may lead to Cancer, Heart disease, Diabetes, Asthma, and Alzheimer’s disease. My reason for pointing this out is perhaps to highlight the eventuality of being a part of a toxic relationship. Friends who are unreliable, are toxic, you can't count on them at any time to do anything, which needless to say, will lead to mental and emotional fatigue. It's not a bad idea to end such friendships, but again, unreliable friends are one of many reasons why friendships fail.
"Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn their ways and get yourself ensnared."
I assume that everyone gets annoyed and even angry from time to time, but people with short fuses can blow up pretty quickly. They can lose their temper over seemingly small problems and even pose a threat to their friends, in this case, you. Sure, you might feel responsible for calming such a friend down. But Proverbs 22:24-25 makes it pretty clear to avoid being friends with persons who are easily angered or with a bad temper. The last thing you want is to argue with them and become like them, nevertheless, bad temper is another reason why friendships fail— because folks can't control their anger, and will say whatever they feel like saying.
Ninety percent of friendships fail, and many of them fail because of some of the reasons I've discussed in this article. But as I noted earlier, you should choose your friends wisely and avoid befriending persons who portray any of the bad signs highlighted from these bible verses about friendship.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Dexter Whinfield
Dexter Whinfield (author) from Saint Vincent and the Grenadines on September 23, 2021:
Thank you, Ms. Dora. I've always found the bible to be the true source of wisdom.
Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on September 23, 2021:
Thanks for these reminders of the Biblical principles governing good friendships. Your commentary adds good counsel.