Summary: Part 7 in a series from Proverbs dealing with friends and relationships.

Wise Friends

Scripture Reference: Proverbs 18:24

I. Introduction

A. The Not-So-Good Neighbors

1. Bob and Sara were not so good friends and neighbors.

2. They decided to be friendlier when they saw a moving van at the house next door.

3. Sara baked a cake and she and Bob proceeded next door.

4. They knocked on the door and said they were so glad to have new families in the neighborhood.

5. The lady said thanks but they were not moving in they were moving out after living next door for 8 years.

B. We have all seen “Friend” movies.

1. Some relationships were good for each other Buzz and Woody in Toy Story 2.

2. Others were quite destructive such as Butch and Sundance.

3. The truth is we all need friends.

C. As Christians we need friends as well.

1. We need to be a friend to those that are lost so they might know the truth.

2. We need to be a friend to brethren and encourage and edify one another – Hebrews 3:13

3. We even need to be a friend to our enemies – Matthew 5:43-48

D. The Book of Proverbs has a lot to say about being a friend including…

1. The Basis of True Friendship

2. Behaving Like a True Friend

3. Building Lasting Friendships

II. The Basis of True Friendship

A. Friendship should not be based on the following…

1. Personal Gain

a) Proverbs 6:1-5 – We are not to take financial advantage of each other as friends.

b) Why Shakespeare said neither a lender nor borrower be.

c) Proverbs 19:6-7 – Financial gain is not a lasting basis for friendship because when the money is gone so are the friends – Luke 15:13-20

2. The Pursuit of Sinful Pleasure

a) Proverbs 1:10-19 – Warns us to shun evil counsel and companions.

b) What happens when the fun is over and all that is left is the consequences of sin?

3. Deception – Proverbs 27:6 “Faithful are the wounds of a friend but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.”

4. Flattery and False Praise – Proverbs 29:5 – “A man who flatters his neighbors spreads a net for his feet.” Flattery is more manipulation than communication.

B. Friendship should be based on…

1. Love – “A friend loves at all times and a brother is born for adversity – Proverbs 17:17

a) Proverbs 10:12 – “Love covers all sins…”

b) A friendship based on love will produce…

2. Loyalty – “A man that has friends must himself be friendly but there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24

3. Wisdom – “The righteous should choose his friends carefully, for the way of the wicked leads them astray.”

III. Behaving Like Friends

A. Friends do not behave in the following way…

1. Not gossips – “He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets. Therefore do not associate with one who flatters with his lips.” – Proverbs 20:19

2. Not quick tempered – Proverbs 22:24-25 (Make no friendships with an angry man…)

3. Not drunkards – “Do not mix with winebibbers…” Proverbs 23:20-21

4. Lack conviction – “…Do not associate with those given to change for their calamity will arise suddenly…” Proverbs 24:21-22

5. Lie – Proverbs 25:18-19

B. Friends should be…

1. Committed – Proverbs 18:24, John 15:13

2. Compassionate

a) “He who covers a transgression seeks love but he who repeats a matter separates friends.” – Proverbs 17:9

b) “What is desires in a man is loving kindness…” – Proverbs 19:22

3. Confidential

a) “Debate your case with your neighbor and do not disclose the secret to another.” – Proverbs 25:9

b) “A talebearer reveals secrets but he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter.” – Proverbs 11:13

4. Candid

a) “Open rebuke is better than love carefully concealed. Faithful are the wounds of a friend…” Proverbs 27:5-6

b) “He who rebukes a man will find more favor afterward than he who flatters with the tongue.” – Proverbs 28:23

5. Constructive

a) “The sweetness of a man’s friend gives delight by hearty counsel.” – Proverbs 27:9

b) “As iron sharpens iron so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” – Proverbs 27:17

6. Consistent – Proverbs 17:17

IV. Building Lasting Friendships

A. What to Avoid

1. Senseless arguments – Proverbs 17:14

2. Smothering your friends – Proverbs 25:17

3. Sticking your nose where it does not belong – Proverbs 26:17

4. Silly joke playing – Proverbs 26:18-19

5. Stirring up trouble – Proverbs 26:20-22

6. Sarcasm –

B. Handling Conflict

1. Be right with God – “When a man’s ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemies be at peace with him.” – Proverbs 16:7

2. Be slow to anger – “A wrathful man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger allays contention.” – Proverbs 15:18

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