How would you describe a good friendship? How do you think God would define a good friendship? The simple definition of a friend is somebody who knows you and is known by you. The goal of every friendship should be to get ourselves, and each other, ready for Christ and to know Christ better.  Often, this includes refinement of character. In fact, the healthiest relationships are going to be filled with encouragement and a willingness to help one another be better versions of ourselves. So much so that God included a bunch of “one anothers” in the Bible. These God ordained, wisdom filled, passages show us what a true, Christ filled, friendship should look like. Here are 7 Biblical principles for better friendships:

LOVE EACH OTHER TO

Fulfill God’s law (Romans 13:8)
Increase our love for one another (2 Thessalonians 1:3)


SERVE EACH OTHER TO

Use our spiritual gifts (1 Peter 4:10)
Show kindness and pursue what is good for one another (1 Thessalonians 5:15)
Show concern for one another (1 Corinthians 12:25)
Carry one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2)
Show honor as you “wash one another’s feet” (John 13:14)
Work with one another (1 Corinthians 3:9; 2 Corinthians 6:1)


TEACH EACH OTHER TO

Teach and admonish one another (Colossians 3:16)
Instruct and model Jesus to one another (Romans 15:14)


ENCOURAGE EACH OTHER TO

Encourage one another to avoid deception and live for Christ (Hebrews 3:13; Hebrews 10:25)
Speak the truth to one another (Ephesians 4:25)
Lay down our lives for one another (1 John 3:16)
Spur one another on to love and good works (Hebrews 10:24)
Strengthen one another in tough times (1 Thessalonians 4:18 and 5:11)


MEET EACH OTHERS SPIRITUAL NEEDS

Confess our sins one to another (James 5:16)
Pray for one another (James 5:16)


LIVE A LIFE OF HUMILITY TOWARD EACH OTHER TO

Honor others above ourselves (Romans 12:10)
Be in agreement or of the same mind one with each other (2 Corinthians 13:11; Romans 12:16 and 15:5)
Keep from criticizing or judging one another (Romans 14:13; James 4:11)
So as not to complain or speak badly of one another (James 5:9)
Submit to one another (Ephesians 5:21)
Be clothed with humility toward one another (1 Peter 5:5)


LIVE IN HARMONY WITH EACH OTHER

Be patient with one another (Ephesians 4:2)
Live in peace one with another (Mark 9:50)
Accept and welcome one another with hospitality (Romans 15:7; 1 Peter 4:9)
Glorify God together (Romans 15:6)

 

I encourage you to pick one of these “one anothers” and put it into practice in your own friendships. You will find that you, and your friendships, will become more like God intended them to be. I want you to leave you with one final thought and it comes from C.S. Lewis.

“When I learn to love God better than my earthly dearest, I shall love my earthly dearest better than I do now. In so far as I learn to love my earthly dearest at the expense of God and instead of God, I shall be moving towards the state in which I shall not love my earthly dearest at all. When first things are put first, second things are not suppressed but increased.”

You see, when God reigns in our hearts, peace reigns in our friendships. The best thing we can do for our friendships is to love God with everything we are and do.

 

-Will Witkovsky