Six Great Bible Verses for Friends
If instead of a gem, or even a flower, we should cast the gift of a loving thought into the heart of a friend, that would be giving as the angels give. - George McDonald
Sometimes it is easy to create expressions of love which will caress the heart of a friend. At other times, it may be easier to share a Scripture verse--not to appear religiously superior or for any other selfish reason, but to share God-inspired love with God-inspired words.
Still, Emily Timbo advises that quoting Scripture is not always the thing to do. “What should be most important to us is not having a handy verse ready to quote, but the character of Christ within us, shining through.”1
So even among special friends, the primary responsibility is demonstrating godly character. Sharing Bible verses is just one way to nurture the character and the friendship. Here are six great Bible verses which translate into love for a special friend.
(1) Personal Interest
Dear friend, I hope all is well with you and that you are as healthy in body as you are strong in spirit (3 John 1: 2 NLT)
Rarely is the greeter interested in the answer to “How are you?” Just as rarely does the respondent give an honest answer. There is no time in the usual friendly greeting for detailed information on feelings. A special friend,however, finds time to inquire into the nuts and bolts of the other person's existence and to express hope for the most desirable situation—good health physically and spiritually.
The Bible verse is from a personal letter which the Apostle John writes to a friend named Gaius, commending him for his kindness to others and his faithfulness to God. Special friends observe and encourage success in all areas of life. John shows genuine interest by closing his letter with a promise to visit, and communicate “face to face.”
Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God (Philippians 1: 3 NLT).
The Apostle Paul had great affection for the believers at Philippi, who, it is believed, were the first established European community of Christians.2 As evidence of his successful spread of the gospel, they brought him much joy. He thanked them and thanked God for them.
Giving thanks is the simplest form of appreciation for whatever makes someone special. It could also be the most significant because:
- It encourages the friends to recognize God as the Creator of their friendship;
- It keeps God in the relationship.
Paul prayed as often as he thought of his friends. This is a good friendship habit to share.
A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance (Ecclesiastes 3: 4 NLT).
“The funeral and the wedding, the hired mourners and the guests at the marriage-feast, are set against one another. The first clause intimates the spontaneous manifestation of the feelings of the heart; the second, their formal expression in the performances at funerals and weddings and on other solemn occasions.”3
Change in circumstances is a regular part of life. Generally, a friend shares both the laughter and the tears, and provides constant support to the one who is experiencing the change.
The quote comes from a chapter promoting the sovereignty of God over a list of opposite human experiences. Often, it is the perspective of one special friend which helps the other one to see that “God has made everything beautiful for its own time” (Ecclesiastes 3: 11).
I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. . . Neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow . . . can separate us from God’s love (Romans 8:38 NLT).
Friends are likely to share this verse in an attempt to persuade each other that God’s love is dependable, even when it seems otherwise. Paul expands on “nothing” by ruling out supernatural forces, human authorities, traumas and tragedies. He shares his personal conviction that God does not stop loving when life gets rough, nor when human life ceases.
“Death separates men from the world, their worldly habitations and substance; it separates the soul from the body, and one friend from another; and in process of time, may take off all thoughts and affections for departed friends, but it is not able to separate from the love of God.”4
Sometimes God demonstrates His love through the presence of a special friend until the one who is suffering regains mental strength to think things through.
(5) Priestly Blessing
The LORD bless you and keep you; The LORD make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The LORD lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace (Numbers 6: 24-26 NKJV).
This Priestly or Aaronic Blessing was delivered by the Hebrew priests at the end of their morning and evening services. Now that all believers are inducted into the priesthood (1 Peter 2: 5), it can also become a Friendship Blessing. To help understand the significance, notice the meaning the keywords according to their original Hebrew context.5
- Bless – bend or stoop as parents do when presenting a gift to a child;
- Keep – like shepherds build a hedge of protection around their sheep;
- Face and countenance – not only the features reflecting a smile, but the presence of the entire being;
- Shine – give light to help create order out of darkness;
- Gracious – creating beauty, warmth, love, friendship, community and sustenance;
- Peace – having whatever is necessary for wholeness or completion.
Let us really show [love] by our actions.. . let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God (1 John 3: 18; 4: 7 NLT).
Friendship is more than an association. It is a connectedness among individuals who love not only with words, but also with various forms of support.
The Apostle counseled the recipients of his letter that after experiencing God’s love, friends demonstrate love differently than before. They help bring about for others the same well-being and success they desire for themselves.
Unfortunately, some friendships do end.
So, when friends quotes these lines to each other, they share a promise to maintain the same kind of unconditional, lasting love that they receive from God.
They recognize God as the Source of love, and the Creator and Sustainer of special friendships.
Six Other Friendship Verses
Philippians 4: 4
Colossians 4: 6
1 Peter 2:17
Colossians 3: 13
1 Thessalonians 5: 11
Proverbs 17: 17
1 Timbol, Emily: Huff Post Religion, Stop Quoting Bible Verses at Me, (1/23/2014)
2 The Bible Study Site: Philippi - Apostle Paul's Missionary Journeys, Copyright - The Bible Study Site (visitied 01/23/2015)
3 Bible Hub: Pulpit Commentary, Copyright - Biblos.com 2004-2014 (visited 01/23/2015)
4 Ibid.: Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible, (visited 01/23/2015)
5 Benner, Jeff A.: Hebrew Language Studies Index, Copyright - Ancient Hebrew Research Center 1999-2014 (visited 01/23/2015)
© 2015 Dora Isaac Weithers