The close friendships I have shared with men like Dr. David Gibbs, Dr. Don Sisk, Dr. R.B. Ouellette, and others have taught me what an incredible treasure godly friends are. The Lord has often used them to encourage, strengthen, inspire, challenge, and sometimes convict me. Their role in my life causes me to want, not only to have godly friends, but also to be a godly friend! Following are some observations of the role of a godly friend:
1. Godly friends sharpen each other. Proverbs 27:17 teaches us that “iron sharpeneth iron.” A godly friend will “sharpen” you, and you will “sharpen” him.
2. Godly friends assure each other through adversity. Godly friends love each other. Proverbs 17:17 teaches that friends love at all times—especially in adversity. Do you have the kind of friendship that unashamedly could declare love? The old saying is true, “Prosperity begets friendship; adversity reveals them.”
3. Godly friends participate with each other. Proverbs 18:24 teaches that friends show themselves friendly. I believe this is a picture of action. Godly friends are eager to cooperate, encourage, and help each other.
4. Godly friends rejoice for one another. A Swedish proverb states, “Friendship doubles our joy and divides our grief.” Godly friends rejoice in the blessings of a friend. This kind of relationship is no place for jealousy, comparison, or envy.
5. Godly friends forgive one another. Friends will eventually hurt each other—and usually unintentionally. Yet, where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is peace. Godly friends resolve tension and quickly forgive.
6. Godly friends do not share or harbor anger. Proverbs 22:24 teaches that we should avoid friendship with an angry or furious man. Yes, there are some men the Bible simply teaches us to avoid or break from. A godly friendship will not be characterized by shared anger or bitterness.
7. Godly friends spark the truth in each other. Proverbs 27:6 says, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend….” Godly friends are not afraid to lovingly and appropriately speak the truth to one another. In fact, they long to hear the truth from each other. They recognize that everybody has “blind spots,” and they rejoice that God has given them “another set of spiritual eyes” to help guide, guard, and protect. Beyond that, godly friends rejoice in truth. They discover truth together. They talk about truth. They encourage each other in it and through it. Truth is the common bond of their hearts—a love for God’s Word and a love for communicating His truth to people.