15 Bible Verses About Friendship

Friendship is one of God’s great gifts to us, don’t you think? Here, I’ve compiled some great Bible verses about friendship, so we can explore what God’s Word says about the value of friends, and how we can be a good friend to each other!

Bible verses about friendship

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Ah, to have friends is such a blessing, is it not?

Of course, the word ‘friend’ can often be misused. We call plenty of people our ‘friends’, but how seldom to we find a TRUE friend?

The best friends I have, are the few who truly know me and accept me as I am. They love me in all my sleepy, flawed mess, and they don’t judge or condemn me when I screw up. I think if I could sum up a true friend in a nutshell, it would be that rare person who just gets me. I don’t have to explain myself with them, or put on a show, or pretend like I have my life all together (I don’t!)

My bestie is one of those people (you know who you are, girl!) She and I have known each other since childhood, and even when we’ve lost touch, done things we’re not proud of, or made messes of things, we always find our way back to each other. The friendship we have is priceless.

Do you have at least one friend like that?

And furthermore, are you being a true friend to others?

I encourage you to seek more Godly friendships in your life, and learn to be a good friend! It’s clear that what God says about friendship, is that it’s a very important and sacred relationship. Just look at the story of the paralyzed man and his helpers, in Luke 5:17-26. What love and dedication these men had, to make sure their friend could be healed by Jesus!

Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus. When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”
Luke 5:18-20 (NIV)

Notice how Jesus himself calls the paralyzed man “friend”, and tells the man his sins are forgiven. What a great Bible lesson on friendship, between people and also between Jesus and us!

Want to learn more about how to be a good friend, according to the Bible? Read on!

friendship heart

15 Bible Verses About Friendship

The Bible has plenty to say about what friendship means, and how to be a good friend. It even says that Jesus is our friend! So, I’ve put these 15 Bible verses about friendship into those three categories, which you’ll find below…

Bible Verses 1-3: The Value of Friendship
Bible Verses 4-11: How to Be a Good Friend
Bible Verses 12-15: Friendship with God

Bible Verses About the Value of Friendship

1) Proverbs 17:17 (NIV)
A friend loves at all times,
and a brother is born for a time of adversity.

There are many Bible verses about loyalty to friends, but this one sums it up so nicely. True friends are priceless; you can count on them to be there no matter what.

2) Proverbs 27:17 (NLT)
As iron sharpens iron,
so a friend sharpens a friend.

This verse so succinctly states what the Bible says about good friends: they encourage, give gentle correction, set good examples for each other, and help each other grow and become better than they were before. Friends make us better!

3) Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NIV)
Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.
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.

I think this Scripture passage has been read at every Christian wedding ceremony I’ve ever attended! But, it’s not just about marriage, but relationships in general. The value of friends, is that they can help each other! And, as verse 12 indicates, a friendship centered on God is so much stronger!

what the Bible says about how to be a good friend

Bible Verses About How to Be a Good Friend

4) Proverbs 18:24 (NLT)
There are “friends” who destroy each other,
but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.

Have you ever had a so-called ‘friend’, who wasn’t really a friend at all, but more like a frenemy? That’s what this Proverb is talking about. It’s easy to a be a ‘fair weather’ friend, and then bail out when times get tough. Or worse, to tear down someone you call your friend. A real friend is someone who sticks by your side, no matter what.

5) Ephesians 4:32 (NIV)
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

You can’t talk about how to be a good friend, without some Bible verses about friendship and forgiveness. True friends show mercy to one another, and as 1 Corinthians 13:5 says, they “keep no record of wrongs”.

6) 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NLT)
So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.

Remember the earlier verse in Proverbs 27:17, about iron sharpening iron? It’s just like this—all about encouraging and lifting each other up.

7) Hebrews 10:24-25 (NLT)
Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.

This Bible verse about friends sticking together is such great advice! In the busyness of life, it might be tempting to forgo meeting with friends or church groups. There are just so many demands on our time, you know? But, as we’ve seen so far in these Bible verses about friendship, there is so much value in having good friends (and of course, being one!) We really do need that encouragement, especially in these times we’re living in.

8) Proverbs 12:26 (NRSV)
The righteous gives good advice to friends,
but the way of the wicked leads astray.

Do you have a ‘friend’ who leads you in the wrong direction? Ask God for discernment, as to whether you should continue spending time with them, and if/how you can distance yourself from that person. Seek out friends who live Godly lives, who are able to pass along that wisdom to you.

9) Romans 12:10 (NLT)
Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.

Emphasis on GENUINE affection (genuinely caring for each other), and DELIGHT in honoring each other!

10) Colossians 3:12-13 (NIV)
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

Another of those aforementioned Bible verses about friendship and forgiveness… clearly, it’s important to forgive and have patience with one another. Extra emphasis on the forgive-as-God-forgave-us-first part.

11) John 15:13 (NIV)
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

Here, Jesus was just saying that giving one’s life for another is the utmost form of love (much like He gave his life for us!). Of course, beyond actually jumping in front of a speeding train to save your friend, this can take many practical forms in everyday life. Just sacrificing your time and efforts to help a friend, making a meal for them when they’re struggling, sending a note of encouragement, taking time out of your busy day to listen to them, and so forth. All are ways we can “lay down our lives” for our friends.

crosses at Calvary

Bible Verses About Friendship with God

12) Psalm 25:14 (NLT)
The LORD is a friend to those who fear him.
He teaches them his covenant.

Do you fear the Lord (reverently worship, obey, serve, and trust Him)? If so, then He is your friend!

13) John 15:15 (NIV)
I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

Just like Psalm 25:14 said, Jesus teaches us everything we need to know about our Heavenly Father, and how we’re to live our lives.

14) Romans 5:10 (NLT)
For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son.

Hard to fathom, that God loved us as children and friends even before Jesus paid the price for our sins. Amazing, yes?! From the time He first created us, God wanted a loving relationship with each of us, even though He knew we would turn away from Him and choose to sin.

15) Hebrews 4:14-16 (NRSV)
Since, then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Of all the Bible verses about friendship here, I left this one for last, because it’s such good news! Jesus, who calls us His friends, is able to intercede for us. When we fall short, His grace is sufficient! (See also, 2 Corinthians 12:9).

Characteristics of a Good Friend According to the Bible

So, let’s review, shall we? From all these 15 verses, we’ve learned that these are the characteristics of a good friend according to the Bible:

  • A good friend is loyal, sticking close even times of trouble
  • A good friend encourages and helps
  • A good friend is compassionate and forgiving
  • A good friend gives wise advice (not misleading)
  • A good friend honors and cares for others

To boil it down even further, from these Bible verses about friendship and love we learn that it’s good to practice loyalty, compassion, and abundant forgiveness in friendship. Because, let’s face it, we are all human and prone to stumbling! We need to be quick to forgive, give lots of mercy and grace, and help lift one another up. THAT is what a true friend does.

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