Dexter is a pastor who enjoys reading and studying the Bible to inspire and empower others
When I think about the word friend, "Jesus Christ" is the first name that comes to mind. And when I think about the word friendship, God, the faithful friend to humanity, paints a vivid picture in my mind.
Why? You may ask. Well, "Jesus Christ left all His heavenly dainties. He came to earth, and He offered himself a sacrifice to redeem a fallen race (mankind)."
And secondly, God, in spite of being holy. He continues to create the right environment for which fallen men can have a good relationship with him.
In my previous article, "15 Bible Verses About Friendship and the Qualities of a True Friend." I wrote an inspirational exposition about friendship. But in this piece, I aim to present to you a mild theological expression about friendship.
And with that said. I want to point your attention to the book of Genesis. Which by the way, is the book of beginnings. It records the beginning of time, life, sin, salvation, and even friendship.
In the second and third chapters of the book of Genesis. There is a chronological account of God, Adam, and Eve. God was the creator, and he still is, and Adam and Eve were the first man and woman created. But what I aim to zero in on; is the relationship between God, Adam, and Eve.
After creating Adam and Eve, God demonstrated all the qualities of a good friend. He went beyond his call of duty and became the kind of friend to Adam and Eve that anyone would be proud to call their best friend. He was caring, loving, kind, considerate, and among other things.
God deliberately choose Adam and Eve as the subject of His love and affection. He had the option of choosing other things, maybe the trees and other animals. But He didn't, He chose Adam and Eve. Therefore, it is for this reason I have concluded that God considered Adam and Eve as His friend. Let me give you an example to clarify this. James 2:23 "And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God."
In James 2:23, Abraham is called a friend of God because of his righteousness. Abraham was a sinner, but his belief in God made him righteous. On the other hand, Adam and Eve were perfect before they sinned. And as such, they automatically become God's friends as a result of their chase nature.
And with that, we can conclude that Adam and Eve were in friendship with God, and interestingly, six traits are evident in their friendship. These are:
- Create Awareness
- Good Influence
- Willing to make sacrifices
And using other bible verses, I will highlight what impact these six traits had on God, Adam, Eve's friendship.
Also, I will show you how these qualities can either make or break your friendships.
So without further ado, here are ten bible verses about friendship that underscored why a good friend is so hard to find.
"My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s 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." (John 15:12-15 New International Version)
The Greek name for the word love, as is used in John 15:13 is Agape. And Agape is a verb, which denotes an action, and it means to have a wholehearted, unconditional devotion to something, or in this case, to someone.
God loved Adam and Eve, he visited them in the cool of the day, every day, to ensure they were alright in their new environment. And because love is known only from the actions it prompts. God demonstrated His love by visiting and showing a keen interest in Adam and Eve's wellbeing.
Also, there are seven other types of love that are sometimes mistaken with Agape. These are:
Types of Love
Compared with Agape, all the other types of love are inferior, primarily because of their conditional nature.
Therefore, it is for this reason why a true friend is so hard to find. To find someone who is unconditionally committed to you is a long shot. It's like searching for a needle in a haystack. A true friend is a rare commodity, and it's who John 15:13 is referring to. Someone who will give their best, and do whatever they can to help you.
Furthermore, God, by His actions, proved that He loved Adam and Eve. But the same couldn't be said of Adam and Eve, they through their actions rebelled against God. And in so doing proved that they didn't love God. They obeyed the Serpent, and it cost them their friendship with God.
"A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity." (Proverbs 17:17 King James Version)
The message in John 15:13 is the same in Proverbs 17:17. Good friends are those who demonstrate their love with actions, and under any condition, whether good or bad.
"One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but here is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." (Proverbs 18:24 New International Version)
What does proverbs 18:24 have to do with God, Adam, and Eve? You might be surprised, but a lot. Considering what transpired in Genesis chapter one, "God created everything with the breath of his mouth." It leaves me with a frightening conclusion that God could've easily destroyed Adam and Eve with the breath of his mouth.
And my conclusion is not mere imagination. If you have read the bible for any length of time, you will know that God destroyed many a nation and persons with the words from this mouth.
Adam and Eve, through their disobedience, were worthy of damnation. But they trusted in God's unchanging and reliable nature. And as a result, they were spared from total annihilation.
The message of proverbs 18:24 is simply this: reliable friends wouldn't destroy you, unreliable friends would. And I didn't see in God's world how any friendship can survive without reliable friends.
"Then Jesus said to them, Suppose one of you goes to his friend at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, because a friend of mine has come to me on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him.’
And the one inside answers, ‘Do not bother me. My door is already shut and my children are with me in bed. I cannot get up to give you anything.’
I tell you, even though he will not get up to provide for him because of his friendship, yet because of the man’s persistence, he will get up and give him as much as he needs." (Luke 11:5-8 New International Version)
"He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed." (Proverbs 13:20 New King James Version)
Wisdom is the application of knowledge. And good friends help to create an awareness that can inform our decisions. And this is what God did, "And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die" Genesis 2:16-17."
God pointed out to Adam that he must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God created the awareness, but it was left to Adam to show wisdom. Unfortunately, Adam didn't, and his relationship with God took a miserable turn. And God wasn't at fault, Adam and Eve were.
And with that, we can conclude that a good friend will create the right environment to help us make wise decisions.
1 Corinthians 15:33
"Don't be misled, Bad company corrupts good character." (1 Corinthians 15:33 New International Version)
The devil/serpent is the main character in 1 Corinthians 15:33, as a bad influence on Adam and Eve.
When God created Adam and Eve, they were fully aware of His teachings, because He taught them. But as 1 Corinthians 15:33 says, " bad company corrupts good character." And the devil did just that. He stripped Adam and Eve of their godly character and tarnished their image.
A godly friend will tell you about the blessedness of good judgment, and warn you of the consequences of bad choices. "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day, that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die" Genesis 2:17.
But toxic friends will always hide the truth; they won't tell you about the perils of making bad decisions. "And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil" Genesis 3:4-5.
"As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend." ( Proverbs 27:17 New Living Translation)
Proverbs 27:17 is a reiteration of 1 Corinthians 15:33. A true friend is someone you can count on for inspiration.
"The righteous choose his friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray." ( Proverbs 12: 26 New International Version)
The message Proverbs 12:26 is evident in Genesis 3:4-6. Adam and Even did not choose their company wisely, therefore, they were led astray. And this underscores the importance of having friends who leave a positive impact on you.
"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility, value others above yourselves." ( Philippians 2:3 New International Version)
It's humbling to think that God did not rush to judge Adam and Eve though He knew beforehand what they did. Instead, He offered Adam and Eve the opportunity to explain themselves to him their side of the story. God didn't have to go down that road. He could've easily thrown them out of the garden without allowing them to explain what happened.
"And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked, and I hid. And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou ate of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?" Genesis 3:10-11.
"And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast did? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat" Genesis 3:13.
As you can see, God did not allow what He knew about Adam and Eve to rush Him into His decision to throw them out of the garden. Instead, He was respectful, He respected Adam and Eve, and He offered them the opportunity to explain themselves.
And that's what respect is. It's when we humble ourselves and consider others. It's when we, in spite of what we know, whether justifiable or not, offer others the opportunity to state their side of a story.
I have seen it on many occasions. How friends when dealing with a tricky situation, allowed what they knew about a particular matter to ruin their friendship. And if we aren't careful, the same may happen to us. Furthermore, Respect is a sign of a solid friendship, and friendships without respect are like countries without law and order.
1 Samuel 18:4
"And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle." (1 Samuel 18:4 King James Version)
If you are a bible student, you would know the significance of Genesis 3:21, it was prophetic, in that it foretold of Christ's death (sacrifice). And not only that; but in addition, Genesis 3:21 underscore the need for sacrifice in any relationship.
It's hard trying to picture how a relationship would work without sacrifice. And unless someone gives up something, it would be difficult.
Jonathan and David were friends, and they shared a good friendship, and according to 1 Samuel 18:4, Jonathan gave David his armor. And while this may not seem significant to some; it is. Because, a warrior in biblical time, was considered vulnerable, and an easy target without his armor. But Jonathan and David understood the value of friendship and the importance of making sacrifices.
In the garden of Eden, God sacrificed an animal, and on Calvary, He offered His son to keep His relationship intact in humanity. Therefore, the onus is on us to continually look beyond ourselves and help others.
In closing, all six traits listed in this article are heavenly in nature. And the average person might struggle to demonstrate these traits. However, these qualities are achievable. But it will take a ridiculous amount of self-discipline and courage.
So, now you see why a good friend is so hard to find. It's like looking for God incarnated all over again.
© 2019 Dexter Whinfield
Dexter Whinfield (author) from Saint Vincent and the Grenadines on October 20, 2019:
You are so right Liz, without God, all our efforts will fail.
Liz Westwood from UK on October 20, 2019:
This is an inspirational and thoughtful article. Without the help of God we will all fall well short of these aspirational friendship goals. Thankfully he is there to help us.
Dexter Whinfield (author) from Saint Vincent and the Grenadines on October 19, 2019:
Thank you MsDora, and a big thank you for your suggestion. Very much appreciated.
Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on October 19, 2019:
Pastor Whinfield, I like your articles. I think it would help if you made your ten verses stand out, by using the text capsules and/or the blue-colored font. Just a sisterly suggestion.