Summary: The wrong kind of friend will lead you into sin. You need the right kind of friend who will be comitted to you, be honest with you and build you up. Everybody needs that kind of friend.
Disclaimer: Source material for this sermon has been gleaned from many different sources. I have attempted to acknowledge these sources whenever possible. I am especially indebted to Rick Hine, Pastor of Bedford Baptist for the conceptualization of this message. Please feel free to use this message as God’s Holy Spirit directs your heart.
EVERYBODY NEEDS A FRIEND
Introduction: Amnon, David’s first born son and crown prince - first in line for the throne of Israel, was infatuated with his half sister Tamar and longed for her so much that he became ill. It was even more difficult for him because she was a virgin - meaning that she was available for marriage, but not to him because marriage between half-brother and sister was forbidden. On his own, Amnon wouldn’t act upon his improper desire. The problem is that “Amnon had a friend”. This friend basically told Amnon to go ahead and act on his lust - after all he was the crown prince. Due to the influence of his friend, Amnon followed his friend’s wicked advise and raped his own sister bringing shame on himself, on his sister, and on his whole family. 1 Corinthians 15:33 says, Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.” or “Wicked friends lead to evil ends.” You and I definitely do not need that kind of friend in our lives, but everybody needs a friend – a true Christian friend that will be there when we need them. There is within each of us a profound need for friendship. This is rarely achieved. There are many who live out their entire lives without a genuine, authentic friendship. Everybody needs somebody, everybody needs a friend. But we must be extremely careful when we choose our friends. Proverbs 12:26 The righteous should choose his friends carefully, for the way of the wicked leads them astray.
I. What is a friend?
A. Everyone with whom you have a social relationship may not qualify to be a genuine friend.
B. There’s a big difference between Acquaintances and Friend
C. An acquaintance is someone who you know, who you see every now and then, who you probably have something in common with and who you feel comfortable around. It’s a person that you can invite to your home and share things with. But they are people who you don’t share your life with, whose actions sometimes you don’t understand because you don’t know enough about them.
• Greg Slayton, a CEO in Silicon Valley, says that in the busy world in which he lives, he is exhausted by the frenetic pace. Here’s how he describes where it has left him in relationship with others: "The sense of isolation is a curse. It is the curse of 10,000 acquaintances. You find no one to talk to when things go really bad." – copied
D. A friend is someone you feel safe around because you know they genuinely care about you. They stick with you and stand by you. They hold your hand. They watch you live and you watch them live and you learn from them. Your life is not the same without them.
E. Someone has said that Friendship is when two people bring out all their baggage and it’s “OK.”
F. Friendship is the greatest love, the greatest usefulness, the most open communication, the noblest sufferings, the severest truth, the heartiest counsel, and the greatest union of hearts and minds of which men and women are capable. – adadpted
G. Proverbs 18:24 A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
H. A British publication once offered a prize for the best definition of a friend. Among the thousands of answers received were the following:
• “One, who multiplies joys, divides grief, and whose honesty is inviolable.”
• “One who understands our silence.”
• “A volume of sympathy bound in cloth.”
• “A watch that beats true for all time and never runs down.”
The winning definition read:
• “A friend is the one who comes in when the whole world has gone out.” - Bits and Pieces, July, 1991
II. What are the qualities of a friend?
A. Friends are committed to each other.
1. Proverbs 17:17 (NKJV) A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
2. Someone who is a true friend will be your friend no matter what you do, what you go through and no matter what happens to you.
3. Proverbs 27:10a (NKJV) 1Do not forsake (abandon) your own friend or your father’s friend…
4. Friends are the people you feel safe around because you know they care about you. They stick with you and stand by you. They hold your hand. They watch you live and you watch them live and you learn from them. Your life is not the same without them.