“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.
The man of many friends [a friend of all the world] will prove himself a bad friend, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24 AMP
It is great to be friendly and have many acquaintances, but in order to be a loyal friend you cannot spread yourself too thin. Some people are friendly with everyone, but when you need them they are nowhere to be found. When you find yourself in a difficult situation, your true friends are the ones who stick with you – they stay with you; they walk with you; they help you through; they don’t judge you, but they tell you the truth.
Wealth makes many friends, but the poor man is avoided by his neighbor. Proverbs 19:4 AMP
A true friend is not one who comes around you when you have something they want, and then disappears when you fall on hard times. A true friend loves you for yourself. It is often very hard to know who your true friends are when you are wealthy and popular!
A friend loves at all times, and is born, as is a brother, for adversity. Proverbs 17:17 AMP
A true friend loves you no matter what. A true friend is one who is loyal. A true friend will face adversity and go through it with you. A true friend does not turn and run when the going gets tough. Jesus is such a friend.
This is My commandment: that you love one another [just] as I have loved you. 13 No one has greater love [no one has shown stronger affection] than to lay down (give up) his own life for his friends. 14 You are My friends if you keep on doing the things which I command you to do. John 15:12-14 AMP
Jesus said, “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” Jesus loved us so much that He laid down His life for us before we were His friends. He laid down His life for His enemies – to make them his friends! Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords and yet He loves us and makes Himself our friend and makes us His friends! What an honor and a privilege we have to be called friends of Jesus! We should not take it lightly. We should prove ourselves worthy of the title by our loyal commitment to Him.
Your own friend and your father’s friend, forsake them not; neither go to your brother’s house in the day of your calamity. Better is a neighbor who is near [in spirit] than a brother who is far off [in heart]. Proverbs 27:10 AMP
They say that blood is thicker than water, in other words, family ties are stronger than friendships. However, sometimes a good friend is more faithful and committed to you than a family member, particularly when you receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior. If your family does not believe in Jesus and you do, it can bring a wedge in your relationship. The body of Christ is a family and you can ask God to bring people into your life who will be just like family to you – people who love God as much as you do and who will speak the truth in love.
Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are lavish and deceitful. Proverbs 27:6 AMP
Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend [to show rage or worthy purpose]. Proverbs 27:17 AMP
A good friend will tell you the truth even if it offends you. They will call you on your junk; they will challenge you; they will not allow you to have any bad habits or bad attitudes. Of course, they will tell you the truth in love, because they care about you. They tell you truth, not because they want to hurt you, but because they want to help you; to make you a better person. A true friend not only knows what to say to you, but also when and how so that you will hear what they are saying and receive it from them. It is better to have a friend who tells you the truth than an enemy who lies to you with flattery. Unfortunately, some people have been too prideful to receive sound advice from a true friend and have rejected their friend and his/her advice to go after a person who tells them what they want to hear, but who does not mean a word of it. Don’t be that kind of fickle, foolish person. If you know that you have believed flattery over the truth, it is not too late to humble yourself and go back to your true friends and apologize for your foolishness. Jesus and the Holy Spirit are true friends who will always tell you the truth.
He who rebukes a man shall afterward find more favor than he who flatters with the tongue. Proverbs 28:23 AMP
Oil and perfume rejoice the heart; so does the sweetness of a friend’s counsel that comes from the heart. Proverbs 27:9 AMP
When a good friend speaks the truth, from their heart, into your life and you receive it, it is sweet like perfume. When you are a good friend to your friends and you speak the truth in love to them, they will appreciate it – maybe not immediately, but eventually. Don’t be intimidated by an initial negative response. Stay calm and hold your ground and continue to love and respect them. If you have a judgmental attitude, no one will be able to receive what you are saying, because your motives are suspect, but if you do not judge your friends and you love them unconditionally, they will welcome your input, opinion, and advice!