The word friend is defined as: “a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard; who gives assistance and support; who is on good terms with another; a person who is not hostile” (dictionary.com). In simpler terms, a friend is someone who cares, encourages, and provides hospitality.
So in reality, there is no such thing as a bad friend. We either have friends or we don’t. If you consider people in your life “bad friends,” they’re simply not your friends at all. Because a friend, as defined above, is not a “bad friend.”
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What would life be without friends?
BORING! That’s for sure, and probably very sad.
It is of the utmost importance for us to have friends. Here’s why:
“There was a man all alone; he had neither son nor brother. There was no end to his toil, yet his eyes were not content with his wealth. “For whom am I toiling,” he asked, “and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?” This too is meaningless – a miserable business!” Ecclesiastes 4:8
It is meaningless to be alone and have no friends.
Friendships minimize our brokenness and depression. They also minimize our exhaustion and heaviness from our jobs, relationships, and circumstances. The reality is, we will all go through hard seasons of exhaustion, depression, loneliness, and much more. We need other people to help us carry our burdens.
But whom will we have next to us when we go through it?
The Bible tells us in Ecclesiastes 4:8 that no matter how much wealth we have, it does not compare to having friends in our lives. The man in the verse was alone and had wealth. Yet, he was very unsatisfied. He basically asked himself, “what’s the point of having wealth when I have no one to share it with?” This man was miserable! Life without people to share it with is unfulfilling.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, once can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
Together is always better!
Togetherness makes room for encouragement, support, and refinement. That’s what friends are for. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 talks about having each other’s back. When we’re having a bad day or are going through a hard time, a friend steps in to help pick us up. When we need guidance figuring things out or making decisions, friends are there to help with that, too.
We ought to feel sorry for those who have no one to help them up when they go through hard times in their life. It’s not good for us to be alone! God Himself said it in Genesis 2:18. God created us for companionship, first with Him, then with each other.
“Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:11-12
Hanging out with friends brings comfort.
We cannot comfort ourselves fully on our own. We need the presence of God and each other to bring comfort into our lives. The presence of one another brings confidence and assurance that we can and will overcome anything that tries to put us down. The verse mentioned above tells us that a cord of three strands is not quickly broken. In other words, two is better than one, but three is even better!
The more friends we have, the better! Each relationship is different; therefore, each friend will encourage us differently. Sometimes we will need to reach out to a certain person for a specific situation we’re going through, while at other times, we’ll need the encouragement of a different friend. This doesn’t mean one is better than the other. It simply means we are each unique individuals with different personalities and experiences. What one friend can help with the other cannot and vise versa. More is better! The more friends we have, the more we can share in each others’ burdens and joys.
So, do you have friends in your life?
Friends who care about you, encourage you, and love on you despite your circumstances?
I highly encourage you to carefully evaluate your friendships based on the truth shared with you on this blog. Remember, “bad friends” are not your friends at all.
Let’s chat: How have your friends helped you become a better person all around?