10 Reasons Why Your Circle of Friends Might Be Your Greatest Spiritual Asset

Kiah Nelson

Contributing Writer
Updated Jun 19, 2024
10 Reasons Why Your Circle of Friends Might Be Your Greatest Spiritual Asset
Brought to you by Christianity.com

Community is central to God's heart, and friendships can help propel us into meaningful relationships that can last a lifetime. However, they can also be tricky, and good friends can be difficult to find at times. So, what does the Word of God have to say about friendships, and how should this affect the ways in which we go about finding and maintaining friendships in our everyday lives? What does it look like for us to have godly friendships that are full of life encouragement?

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1. Why Is Friendship Important?

Let’s go back to the beginning, to the Garden of Eden in the book of Genesis. After God had created Adam and placed him in the garden to take care of it and watch over it, he said something very interesting. Genesis 2:18 says, 

“Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” 

Although this verse refers to the marriage relationship between a husband and a wife, which first began with Adam and Eve, it also points out a key design in the way that God created humanity. The first problem that presents itself in scripture isn’t sin, but God recognizing that Adam is alone. God saw this and declared it to be “not good”. Even from the start of creation, God has wired humanity for connection, community, and for meaningful relationships. We are not made to live life alone. 

2. God, Himself, Exists in Community

Just as God created humanity with a desire for friendships and meaningful connections, a fascinating attribute about God is that He has always been in community with the trinity, one God existing in three persons. 1 John 5:7 says, 

“For there are three that bear record in heaven, The Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.” 

As God himself experiences community within the trinity, he desires for his creation to experience the profound joy and delight that can be found in community, particularly through friendship, as well.

multicultural group of friends together smiling racial diversity

3. Friendships Are Designed to Produce Personal Growth

Friendship can be one of the most rewarding aspects of our lives. As we grow closer to those around us, we can form life-changing and lasting relationships that stand the test of time. These relationships can help to shape us, form us, and lead us into growth in many areas of our lives. Proverbs 27:17 says, 

“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” 

The process of being refined by a friend can be painful sometimes, as they often see things in us that we may overlook. However, we have to trust that our closest friends want what is best for us, even if this sometimes means pointing out areas of our lives that may need attention or tending to. Often our friends are able to see our blind spots and can encourage us to continue on in our walk with Jesus. 

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4. Authentic Friends Holds Us Accountable

We can trust that God has placed our closest friends in our lives to help us along in our faith journey. This sometimes means that they approach us in our sins and help to care for us as we own up to our mistakes and shortcomings. A great example of this involves King David when he was approached by his friend and advisor, the prophet Nathan, to confront him about his sins and failings. The book of 2 Samuel 12:1 says, 

“The Lord sent Nathan to David.” 

God is gracious in his approach to us, often through those closest to us. Because of his great love, he desires to bring us out of our sins and take us further into a relationship with Himself. He is merciful and steadfast to us, and as his followers, we are called to do the same in our friendships.

Friends Laughing

5. Friendship Brings Us Joy!

The Bible includes many examples of how friendships can deeply enrich our lives, as Proverbs 27:9 says, 

“A sweet friendship refreshes the soul.”  

Friendships that enhance our lives can become so valuable throughout every season of life. God’s word also says in Proverbs 17:17, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” When life feels overwhelming, good friendships can help to bring joy into our lives and hearts. 

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6. Friends Are Gifts from the Lord

Another great example of friendship within the Bible is the relationship between David and Jonathan, the son of King Saul in Israel. The Bible says in 1 Samuel 18, verses one and three, 

“After David had finished talking with Saul, he met Jonathan, the king’s son. There was an immediate bond between them, for Jonathan loved David. And Jonathan made a solemn pact with David because he loved him as he loved himself.” 

This friendship was life-giving to both David and Jonathan, a gift that the Lord desires for all of his children to experience within a secure community. 

7. Spiritual Friends Run the Race Alongside Us

7. Spiritual Friends Run the Race Alongside Us

Within the New Testament, another great example of friendship is between the Apostles Paul and Timothy in the book of Acts. While Paul was traveling to different areas on his missionary journeys to share the gospel of Jesus, he met a young man named Timothy in the city of Lystra. Timothy was raised in the faith by his Jewish mother and grandmother. While Paul was visiting Lystra, he invited Timothy to join him on his missionary journeys. Over time, this led to a friendship and a mentorship being formed between them. Paul took joy in doing ministry and preaching the gospel alongside Timothy, teaching him and passing on the wisdom that he had learned through discipleship. While Timothy would’ve been fairly young at the time, Paul offered him an opportunity to grow in his faith and to learn and develop his skills as a leader. (Acts 16, 1 Timothy 1:2, 1 Timothy 4:12, 2 Timothy 3:14-17.) 

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8. Grounded Friends Help Us Grow in Wisdom

Biblical friendships can lead to tremendous growth in our lives, especially through mentorships. Gaining wisdom from those around us is a wonderful privilege and experience. The beauty of the Kingdom of God is that it invites us into community and allows us to learn and grow from the lives of other believers across all ages and stages of life. Forming friendships with those who may be in a different life stage than us can be incredibly rewarding and can open our eyes to different perspectives in life.

Father and son embracing

9. Intergenerational Friendships Are an Important Part of God's Design

Seeking out intergenerational friendships with those who are younger or older than us can be an exciting way to create further unity within the Body of Christ, the Church. These relationships can be so valuable and add richness to our walk with God. As we grow in our faith, we are able to share what we’ve learned with others who may be younger than we are and offer friendship to them. Similarly, as we grow, we have the opportunity to glean from those around us who may have more wisdom, understanding, and experience in life than we do. (Titus 2:1-4)

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10. Friendship Reflects the Love of Jesus

Friendship can be seen as a valuable gift in every stage of a believer's life. It draws us into a deeper community, creates a sense of safety and security, and allows us to confess our failures, mistakes, and sins. Even more than that, friendship creates a space for us to love and to be loved fully by those around us, mirroring the perfect love of Jesus for us.

Related Resource: Lessons from Job: How to Be a True Friend

In this transformative episode of The Messenger Movement Podcast, join Tamra Andress on one of her latest Pedal and Preach sessions as she delves into cultivating heart posture and presence to become a better friend, especially in challenging moments. Drawing on personal stories and biblical examples, including the trials of Job, the episode unravels key themes like practicing God's presence amid discomfort, understanding position and peace, and prioritizing value over original ideas.

This article originally appeared on Christianity.com. For more faith-building resources, visit Christianity.com. Christianity.com

Kiah Nelson, Contributing WriterKiah Nelson is a freelance writer, wife, and follower of Jesus who is passionate about pursuing the heart of the Father and desires to make Him known in every area of life. The aim of her writing is to inspire others with the hope and beauty of the gospel and the transformative power found within it. She is currently working towards obtaining a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Studies from Miami University. When she is not writing, she enjoys playing piano, reading C. S. Lewis, making homemade lattes, and spending quality time with her incredible family and close friends. You can connect with her on LinkedIn here.

Originally published Wednesday, 15 May 2024.