Choose friends wisely, friends who love Jesus over the long haul (12:26). Cautious means “spy out, examine.”
Associate with wise friends and let go of foolish ones. This proverb (13:20) is a good one to pray over your children and loved ones who are being swayed by fools. Associate = continual, durative action, it means to stay close to and move in the same direction as. Truth: You become you who hang out with.
Find kind friends (14:21). This seems to say that we also need to BE the kind of friend who helps others in need. Be the kind of friend you want to have.
Never make friends with a liar or a slanderer, (16:28). They are people who murmur, destroy lives, whispers secrets. “Closest friend” = intimate associate.
Dare to forgive, (17:9). The word for forgive = covers or covers over Genesis 9:20-23: “Noah, a man of the soil, proceeded to plant a vineyard. When he drank some of its wine, he became drunk and lay uncovered inside his tent. Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father naked and told his two brothers outside. But Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it across their shoulders; then they walked in backward and covered their father’s naked body. Their faces were turned the other way so that they would not see their father naked.” Remember this: How people respond to the faults of others reveals whether or not they have love. Harping on the past destroys relationships. We must leave room for the possibility of reconciliation.
Build a few intimate friendships, (18:24). There are two kinds of friends, those who shatter and those who walk beside you when life shatters you. Which one will you be?
|Proverbs 12:26 (NET) The righteous person is cautious in his friendship, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.|
|Proverbs 13:20 (NIV) 20 He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.|
|Proverbs 14:21 (NIV) 21 He who despises his neighbor sins, but blessed is he who is kind to the needy.|
|Proverbs 16:28 (NIV) 28 A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends.|
|Proverbs 17:9 (NIV) 9 He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.|
|Proverbs 18:24 (NIV) 24 A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.|
“Friend comes from the same root word as freedom. A friendship that isn’t freeing isn’t true friendship.” Len Sweet
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