Healthy Friendships I (Why We Need Them)
Healthy Friendships I:
Why We Need Them
Question: What does the word “friendship” mean?
“A person whom one knows, likes, and trusts;
A person with whom one is allied in a struggle or cause;
A person who gives assistance.
A friend is one who loves, literally. The relationship between Latin amīcus “friend” and amō “I love” is clear, as is the relationship between Greek philos “friend” and phileō “I love.”1
Question: What makes a good friend, a best friend even?
Someone who is/has
-Loyal, kind, generous, fun, honest, dependable, similar interests, etc.
Question: So why are friends so important? Do we need friends?
Main Scripture: Ecclesiastes 4:7-12 (NLT)
I observed yet another example of something meaningless under the sun. This is the case of a man who is all alone, without a child or a brother, yet who works hard to gain as much wealth as he can. But then he asks himself, “Who am I working for? Why am I giving up so much pleasure now?” It is all so meaningless and depressing.
Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.
Main Point #1: Friends help us in times of need—protection, support, love, etc. One of the worst feelings in the world is the feeling that we are alone…It’s no wonder then that the last thing Jesus said to us in the gospel of Matthew is that He will be with us—always!!!
-Celebration: When you have a birthday party, you don’t have it alone. You invite your best friends! When you get married, you don’t have it alone, you invite your best friends, and usually give them a special role in the wedding (brides maids and groomsmen).
-Trouble: Things like the dark, scary movies, haunted houses, having to go to the Principal’s office, these are all less scary when you have a friend with you.
-Competition: It’s fantastic being a part of a team, especially when you are not playing your best. Your teammates help you out and can carry you to victory!
-Sadness: It is wonderful to have true friends with you if your pet dies, if you don’t make the cheerleading squad, or if another person has been really mean to you at school. Pain shared is pain divided!2
Main Point #2: You cannot be friends with everyone, but you can be friendly to everyone.
-Jesus was loving and kind to everyone He met—He healed people, provided food for them, and taught them. But He chose twelve specific people to be some of His close friends.
Main Scripture: Mark 3:13-18 (NIV)
“Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. He appointed twelve—designating them apostles[a]—that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons. These are the twelve he appointed: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter), James son of Zebedee and his brother John (to them he gave the name Boanerges, which means Sons of Thunder); Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.”
-And even within those twelve close friends, Jesus had a deeper and closer friendship with three people—James, John, and Peter.
Main Scripture: Matthew 17:1-3 (NIV)
“After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.”
Main Scripture: Matthew 26:36-38 (NIV)
“Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, ‘Sit here while I go over there and pray.’ He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, ‘My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.’
Main Point #3: Not all friendships last your entire life—some are for a reason or a season.
Main Scripture: John 6:60-69 (NIV)
On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?” “Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, “Does this offend you? What if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. Yet there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him. He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled him.”
From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.
‘You do not want to leave too, do you?’ Jesus asked the Twelve.
Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.’”
Video: Lord of the Rings—An example of a healthy friendship (please click HERE).
May the Lord help us this week to be friendly to everyone we meet,
To enjoy the friendships He has given us,
And to thank Him for providing us with friends.
2 Pat McClain, 2007.