Topic Study: Friendship (from Proverbs)

STUDY TOPIC: Building Better Friendships

KEY PASSAGE(S): Various verses from the Book of Proverbs

While most of us always welcome the opportunity to make new friends, when it comes to friendship in general, what people want (and need) most is a few close friends that they can tell anything and they know they will still be loved and accepted. Someone who will be there for them during the valley times of hardship and heartache. Someone who will laugh with them, cry with them and enjoy every bit of this journey of life on earth with them.

Sadly, too few people today actually experience “true” friendships with any depth and significance to them. They have difficulty finding those type of friends and, just as challenging, many have trouble finding the time and energy to be that type of friend to others. Add to this equation dysfunctional families where brother/sisters, parents/kids and husband/wife struggle to just be friends, compounded by the watering-down of the definition of “friend” by social network sites like Facebook, (seriously, you have 1,500 friends?), and the reason many of us are experiencing a “friend crisis” becomes more obvious, if not the solution.

Enter wise King Solomon, the author of the book of Proverbs. Look up each verse reference below in your Bible and then answer the question about giving your friendship efforts and results a significant, possibly life-changing boost:

EXAMINING YOUR FRIENDSHIPS

1) Proverbs 13:20 – What kind of friends should we choose? Why is this important?

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Do you have “friends” that don’t meet this criteria? What will you do about it? _______

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2) Proverbs 27:29 – How can you find/build friendships that bring “joy to your heart?”

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3) Proverbs 17:17a – When was the last time you let a friend down? What one thing can you change to become a “better” friend, one that demonstrates love “at all times?”

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BEING A BETTER FRIEND

4) Proverbs 15:15b – What do you need to do (i.e. changes in outlooks, attitudes, actions) to make yourself more consistently cheerful? How will that encourage others?

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5) Proverbs 27:2 – Are you better at singing your own praises or praising the work of others? Identify a friend who deserves some recognition/affirmation this week and do it.

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6) Proverbs 27:17 – Who do you need to build-up and challenge spiritually? How? What friend will you ask and give permission to keep your relationship with God “sharp?”

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Challenge: Before the day is out, call (don’t email or text… call!) one friend that you want to be closer to and become a much better, truer friend in light of the Proverbs studied. Tell them briefly about what you learned and set a time to just get together to start building a stronger, healthier, more enduring friendship.

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