Friend or Foe?

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This past week was a learning experience on friendship for me. I feel like I’ve been so jaded that I seem to expect the worst or assume the worst in people. I was humbled by one of my friends with the way she handled my overthinking and overreaction.  I won’t bore you with the details, but I wanted to look at friendships in general.  How do you know when you have a keeper?  Is she a friend or foe?

I don’t want to get all preachy or pushy with this, but when I have questions, this is where I look.  I wanted to see what the bible had to say on friendships.  The bible actually has quite a few examples of friendships and verses on the subject.  One that stuck out to me was the story of Ruth and Naomi.  The story must be important because Ruth has her own section.  Ruth is only 4 chapters, so it’s a quick and easy read.

Ruth was the daughter-in-law of Naomi.  When Naomi’s husband and her two sons died, she told her two daughters-in-law to go back to their mothers.  Ruth was the only one that stayed with Naomi and traveled with her to Bethlehem.  My favorite verses are Ruth 1:16-17 “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.”

These two were more than just in-laws, they were friends. Ruth cared very much for Naomi. “Where you go I will go”.  That tugged at my heart strings.  “I got your back” kind of thing or “we’re in this together”.  Even when Naomi was down and out and felt the worst and thought the worst of herself, Ruth was there.  True friends.   This story had a few lessons in it for me, but friendship stood out to me.

I’m not an expert in the bible by any means and I could have interpreted it wrong, so I encourage you to read it and offer any words of wisdom in the comments section below.

A few other verses that stood out to me about friendship:

Colossians 3:12-14  Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

John 15:12-15  My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 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.

1 Corinthians 15:33  33 Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”

Love, pretty simple right?

Can you think of any other examples of friends in the bible?  If you’ve had a disagreement with a friend, how did you handle it/overcome it?  Let me know in the comments!

This post is dedicated to my friends J , C, and A and my sister T.  Thank you for accepting me with all my flaws.  Never judging.  You ladies are loving, understanding, forgiving and true friends.  Thank you for teaching me.

Xs – BW

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